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Lady Julia's Emerald 
South to North in Spain 
The Stepping Stone 









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THIS book does not pretend to be either exhaustive 
or original ; it does not challenge comparison with 
the many excellent biographies of Saint Teresa de 
Jesus which already exist, foremost among them the late 
Mrs. Cunninghame Graham's Santa Teresa, Her 'Life and 

If apology be needed for trespassing on a field already 
occupied, I can only urge that my point of view is perhaps 
a little different both from Mrs. Cunninghame Graham's, 
and also from that of the religious writers who have ad- 
dressed themselves to the faithful of Saint Teresa's Church. 
I have aimed rather at the sympathetic of every creed ; 
chiefly perhaps at the women who, daily reaching forth 
unto new spiritual domains, are glad to claim solidarity 
with the great women who have gone before, and have 
gained them the land they already possess. 

Teresa does not come before us as the ideal wife and 
mother, still less as the typical ensnarer of men, neither 
of which ideals is precisely what is in the mind of the ad- 
vancing woman of to-day. She is one of the world's great 
single women ; that one of the virgin saints who seems 
nearest to us in method and in practice. Would there 
were more of us like her in spirit and in aim ! 

I have wished to dwell not on the accidents of her age 
and sphere, but on the ideas which moved her ; and so 
far as possible I have tried to give them in her own words. 
Alas ! it is all too easy to misunderstand and so to misrepre- 


sent ; but at least my endeavour has been on the whole 
to transcribe rather than to comment or to judge. 

I cannot hope to have escaped blunders and inaccu- 
racies ; my gratitude is ready for any one who will point 
them out. 

The specimens of verse have mostly been translated 
for me by Miss M. F. Sarah Morgan, with, I think, great 
fidelity to the originals. Prose I have translated myself, 
as a rule with some freedom and considerable condensa- 
tion ; but, I hope, without distortion of the sense, or entire 
obliteration of the style. 

Lastly, I desire to thank with all my heart. Father 
Joseph Dominic Ostendi, Vicar-Provincial of the English 
Carmelites, for his kindness ; especially for the letter of 
introduction he gave me to the Priors and Prioresses of 
the Order in Spain, all of whom I would also thank for 
the sympathy, welcome, and assistance they consequently 
extended to the wandering foreigner who visited them. 

Among the books I have consulted are : — 

Collected Writings of Saint Teresa . Edited by Don Vicente de 

la Fuente 
Vida de Santa Teresa de Jesus . P. Francisco de Ribera 
Vida de Santa Teresa de Jesus . F. Diego de Yepes 
Vie de Sain te Terese . . . H. Joly 
Life of Teresa of Jesus . . . H.J.Coleridge 
Santa Teresa . . . . G. Cunninghame Graham 

Vida de Santa Teresa . . .P. Julian de Avila 
Cronicas de la Reforma de los P. F. Francisco de Santa 
Descalzos de N. S. del Carmen Maria and P. F. Jose de 

Santa Teresa 
El supernaturalismo de Sta. Teresa A. Perales y Gutierrez 
La pretendue hysterie de Sainte 

Therese P. Gregoire de S. Joseph 

Phenomenes hysteriques . . P. G. Hahn 
A Reply P. Janet 



Another Reply 

Sta. Teresa y la critica racionalista 

Les Mystiques Espagnols 

II clircttorio Mislico 

Bibliographic Tcr6sicnne 

Vida Fr. dc Borja . 

Vida J. Gracian . 

Vida Ana dc Jesus 

Vida J uan dc la Cruz . 

Vida Baltasar Alvarez . 
Vida Luis dc Leon 
Vida Ignacio dc Loyola 
Life of Ignatius Loyola 
Vida de la Princesa de Eboli 
Psychologic des Saints 
CoUected works of the Sp. Mystics 
Varieties of Religious Experience . 
Cambridge Modern History, 3 vols. 
Vol. 33, Sammtliche Werke . 
Memoria de las Reynas Catolicas . 
Inquisition in Spain 
Inquisition in the Middle Ages . 
Historia General de Espafia . 
Historia de Espafia, lib. 24 . 
Historia Ecclesiastica de Espafia . 

Charles v 

Philip II 

L'Espagne teresienne . 
Souvenir du Pays de Sainte Therese 
Espafia sus monumentos y artes . 
L'Espagne . 
Grandezas de Espafia . 
Espafia artistica . 
Viaje de Espafia . 
Viaggio fatto in Spagna 
L'Espagne du D. Quixote 
L'Espagne du xvi Siecle 
Imperial Ciudad de Toledo 
Historia de la Imperial Ciudad de 

P. de S. Louis 

J. Maura 

P. Rousselot 

G. B. Scaramelli 

H. de Curzon 

A. Cienfuegos 

J. Boneta y la Plana 

P. F. Angel Manrique 

P. F. Geronimo de San 

L. de la Puente 
M. Gutierrez 
P. de Rivadeneira 
S. Rose 
Gaspar Muro 
H. Joly 

W. James 

L. von Ranke 
H. Florez 
H. Lea 

Modesto Lafuente 
J. de Mariana 
V. de la Fuente 
W. Robertson 
W. H. Prescott 
T. Hye Hoys 
F. X. Plasse 
Castelar Madrazo 
N. Chapuy 
P. de Medina 
P. de la Escosura 
Antonio Ponz 
Andrea Navigero 
A. Morel Fatio 

F. de Pisa 

P. de Rojas 



Cronicas de Sevilla 

Cervantes' Rinconete . 

Discurso sobre las estatutos de 

limpieza .... 
Condition social de los Moriscoes 
Administration de la Castille xv 

Siecle .... 

Censo de la Poblacion xvi, Siglo 
History Spanish Literature . 
Spanish Literature 
Revue des Deux Mondes, 1864 


Quarterly Journal of Science, 1873 
Revista de Espana 1868, 1896 
Revista Critica, vol. 148 
Proceedings Society Psychical 

Research .... 
Revista de Madrid, 1883 
Revue des questions scientifiques 

vols. 13 and 14 . 
Revue Scientifique, 1893, 1906 
Alio Teresiano 
Coleccion de Retratos de Espan^ 

oles ilustres 
Various early Spanish novels and 


A. Morgado 
F. R. Marin 

F. Janer 

Gounon Loubens 
L Gonzalez 

G. Ticknor 
Fitzmaurice Kelly 

H. H. C. 



Preface and List of Books Consulted . v 



I. Teresa in the World . . . . i 

Avila — Early Days — The Pun d'onor — The Vocation 

II. The Sixteenth Century in Spain . - 14 

History — Literature — Art 

III. The Spanish Church in the Sixteenth 

Century . . . . . -27 

The Ideals — Church Reforms — The Inquisition — 

IV. Teresa at the Convent of the Incarnation . 46 

The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel — Sickness — 

V. The Supernatural . . . .61 

Doubts and Distress — Experiences — Criticism 

VI. Foundation of the First Convent of Dis- 

CALCED Carmelites . . . -83 

The Inception — Interlude at Toledo with Sketch of 
History of Toledo — The Accomplishment 

VII. The Convent of San Josef in Avila . . 98 

The Principles of Saint Teresa's Convents — The Rule — 
The Storm — The Calm 

VIII. Spread of Saint Teresa's Reform . . 114 

Visit of the General — Travelling in the Sixteenth 
Centurjr — Foundations at Medina, Malagon, 
Valladolid — The First House for Friars 

IX. More Foundations ..... 137 

Manner of the Journeys — Toledo — Princess of 
Eboli — Mariano de San Benito — Pastrana — 
Salamanca — Teresa de Laiz 



X. Coming of the Apostolical Visitors 

Back at the Encarnacion — Segovia — Catalina de 

I. The Spanish Mystics .... 

Mysticism in General — The Apostle of Andalucia 
and others — Luis of Granada — Luis of Leon — 
Saint John of the Cross — Decline of the School 

II. Teresa's Mystical Theology 

The Devotional Books — The Way of Perfection — 
The Interior Castle 

III. Andalucia ...... 

Beginning of the War — Gracian — The Journey 

IV. The Foundation at Seville . . . 230 

Seville in the Sixteenth Century — Return of Lorenzo 
de Cepeda — Persecutions and Slanders — The 

V. Weathering the Storm .... 249 

Division of the Carmelite Order — Seclusion at 
Toledo — Foundation at Villanueva de la Jara — 
Dona Catalina de Cardona 

..VI. The Last Years ..... 268 

More Foundations — Ana de Jesus — Teresa's last 
Foundation — DecUne 

VII. Teresa's Letters ..... 282 

The Letter at Segovia — Family Letters — Letters 
to Maria de San Jose — To Gracian — Miscellaneous 

VIII. The End . . . . . .318 

Teresa's Last Illness and Death 

IX. Afterwards ...... 321 

Her Burial — Beatification — and Canonization 

X. Teresa's Life, Character, Writings, and Work 324 
Index ...... 337 


Portrait of Saint Teresa, from the profess- 
edly Original Painting by Fray Juan de 


AT Seville ..... Frontispiece 

From a Photograph given by the Prioress of the Convent 


The Walls of Avila ..... i 

From a Photograph by Senor C. Alguacil of Toledo 

Philip ii, aged 70 ..... 26 

From a Photograph by Senor Salvador Quesada of the 
Portrait by Pantoja de la Cruz at the Escorial 

Saint Francis Borgia, Duke of Gandia and Third 

General of the Jesuits . . . • Z7 

From an Old Engraving 

Convent of La Encarnacion at Avila . . 46 

Photographed by Senor J. Torron of Avila 

Baltasar Alvarez . . . . .64 

From an Engraving by B. Maura 

General View of Toledo and the Tagus . . 91 

From a Photograph by Senor C. Alguacil of Toledo 

San Pedro de Alcantara . . . .96 

From an Old Engraving 



The Princess Dona Juana de Austria, Sister of 
Philip ii, and Mother of Don Sebastian, King 
OF Portugal ...... 127 

From the Portrait by Antonio Moro in the Prado Gallery 

Portrait of Saint Teresa, after the professedly 
Original Painting by Fray Juan de la Miseria, 
now at the Convent of La Concepcion at 
Valladolid ...... 130 

Froin a Print given by the Prioress of the Convent 

First Page of the Libro de las Fundaciones . 135 

Photographed from the Original Manuscript in the Camarin 
de las Reliquias at theXEscorial, by permission of the 
Superior of the Monastery 

Doi?A Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, Wife of Ruy 

Gomez, Prince of Eboli .... 144 

After a Portrait by A. Sanchez Coello 

Door of the Convent of San Josef at Segovia 171 

Photographed by Senor Unturbe of Segovia 

San Juan de la Cruz, First Friar of Saint Teresa's 

Reform ...... 189 

From an Old Engraving 

Padre Fray Jeronimo Gracian de la Madre de 
Dios, First Provincial of the Discalced 
Carmelites ...... 224 

From an Old Engraving 

Moorish Bridge at Cordova .... 228 

From a Photograph by Senor C. Alguacil of Toledo 

Portrait of Saint Teresa, from the professedly 
• Original Painting by Fray Juan de la 
Miseria, now at the Ayuntamiento at Avila . 247 

Photographed by Senor J. Torron of Avila 



Diego de Covarrubias, Bishop of Segovia and 

President of the Royal Council 252 

From a Photograph by ScHor C. Alguacil of the Portrait 
by El Greco at Toledo 

The Venerable Ana de Jesus . . . 271 

From an Old Engraving 

Letter to Padre Fray Ambrosio Mariano de San 
Benito, Number 214, in the Collection of Saint 
Teresa's Letters edited by Don Vicente de 
Fuente ....... 282 

Photographed by Senor Unturbe from the Original Manu- 
script in the Convent of San Josd at Segovia, by 
permission of the Prioress 





ON a mountain shelf 4000 feet above the sea in the 
very heart of Spain, stands to this day a mediaeval 
city, encircled by quite perfect battlemented 
granite walls 40 feet high, their ten gates and eighty-six 
towers all complete and in good order to withstand a 
mediaeval siege. 

The town is very quiet and austere now ; sparsely 
inhabited, with few shops, streets silent and narrow, 
many old churches, no new houses. Everything is grey ; 
the sky, the mountains, the surrounding desert, the walls 
of the .houses, — I had almost said the faces of the people, 
who, a dour, self-contained, handsome folk, the men 
muffled in dark cloaks, the women with hair severely 
flattened over their ears, all with an air of slightly morose 
resignation, pass ceaselessly up and down under the 
arcades of the market-place, as if dreeing a weird. 

In winter a violent and frozen wind screeches and 
howls through the winding streets, batters against the 
stern cathedral walls, and powders with an icy dust the 
wares exposed for sale on little open stalls along the ram- 
parts. A harsh, cold place this Avila must always have 
been, with snow in sight even at midsummer. But in 
the sixteenth century she had by no means fallen into the 
torpor and the gloom which gives her to-day this aspect 
of severe melancholy. Then she was important and 


populous, with rich and busy citizens. Many of these 
were Jews by race : the Converses who had given up their 
own creed and held some of the best and most lucrative 
offices, though their orthodoxy was not only suspected 
but really questionable. Of the Old Christians (those 
who confessed no admixture of Mohammedan or Hebrew 
blood), some were great lords, some proud but needy 
hidalgos ; all living in court-yarded, galleried, carved 
houses, which have now fallen into decay, yet still bear 
stone coats-of-arms, crests, and supporters, above their 
entrance portals. 

The streets were gay with the litters, the coaches, the 
gaily-caparisoned palfreys of the nobles ; with their 
sumpter mules in long procession, wearing reposteros 
(coloured horse-cloths, embroidered with the arms of 
their owners, and capable at Corpus Christi or other 
festival of being used for decoration of wall or balcony) ; 
with liveried servants, men-at-arms, civic functionaries 
in robes of State, ecclesiastics in full canonicals, soldiers 
home from the wars swaggering and often begging. Hawk- 
ing and hunting parties passed up and down ; gay youths 
with squires and lackeys rode out for joust or tournament ; 
nobles conducted companies of their retainers to join 
some military expedition. Among the common people 
were pedlars, handicraftsmen, peasants and farmers 
bringing cattle or grain or wine, many of them Moriscoes 
(christianized Moors), a few veritable slaves, these 
latter being generally foreigners and well-treated. Y*^ 
not even in those picturesque days could Avila be d». - 
scribed as a city of pleasure. She was always belligerent, 
stern, keenly alive to the serious side of existence. Among 
her hidalgos and her nobles, many were grave and 
thoughtful persons, who rode about severely doing their 
own business, and found their keenest interest in the 



study and practice of a religion already in the throes of 
reformation at home and abroad. 

Such a man was one Alonzo Sanchez de Cepeda, of the 
Cepedas of Tordesillas ; a branch of the great family 
which belonged originally to Astorga of Leon ; — their 
arms, a lion and the eight honourable crosses of St. Andrew, 
granted to certain valiant captains on the glorious day of 
Baeza. Alonzo was related to many most noble families, 
including the Pulgars ; and he was married in his second 
nuptials to Beatriz de Ahumada whose descent was no 
less distinguished than his own. She sprang from one 
of the four original Davilas, who bore the illustrious 
golden roclas (balls) in their arms. Alonzo was a quiet, 
pious, well-to-do gentleman ; and his house was high 
up above the river Adaja at the southern side of the 
town. On its site now stands the Church and the Monas- 
tery of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers ; and its little 
garden, — or at any rate part of it — is treasured as Alonzo 
left it, with its low evergreen hedges, and leafy hiding- 
places where his children played at building hermitages 
and pretending to be saints. 

One day, in the year 1522, a pair of children, a boy and 
a smaller girl, stole out from the great entrance-doorway, 
hand in hand. They carried a parcel of dried fruits, and 
they hurried along somewhat frightened by their escape, 
and by the dread purpose which was burning in their 
little hearts, symbolized to them by their oft-repeated 
motto, "Para siempre, siempre, siempre," — "For ever, 
ever, ever." 

They passed swiftly over the very cobblestones we 
tread to-day, down the steep winding street leading to 
the Adaja gate, the bridge, the Salamanca road, the 
mountains ; and as they supposed, to the land of the 


heathen Moors, who would behead them and send them, 
glorious little martyrs, to the heavenly country and to the 
joy which should endure for ever, ever, ever. 

History says drily that beyond the bridge they en- 
countered an uncle who brought them home to a mother 
distracted by their absence. Imagination can supply 
the details ; how the raisins were all eaten and the little 
feet grew sore, how the way was hard to find, and the 
Moors — the persecuting ones — a surprisingly long way off ; 
how Rodrigo grew anxious, and little round-faced Teresa 
cried because he was cross and she was tired and had 
begun to expect goblins behind every bush. Probably 
the sight of the familiar uncle was a relief ; probably 
he was kind to the little runaways, for kindness and love 
were characteristic of the family to which he and they 
belonged. At any rate, he took them safe home, and they 
never again tried to carry out their glorious project. 
Teresa never found any opportunity of getting beheaded ; 
nevertheless, her destiny was glorious, for she lived to 
become a distinguished woman and a saint, her name 
known to all the world, and, what she valued more, in- 
scribed on the roll of the great ones of the Holy Catholic 

In this tale of the running away of the future Saint 
Teresa of Jesus, I see much that is suggestive of herself 
and of her times. The prevailing religious enthusiasm 
was blended with the wild romance, the thirst for adven- 
ture, which found expression in the Books of Chivalry, 
the favourite literature of the day and especially of 
Teresa's mother. Already, as all through her life, this 
little girl cried out with Paul, " the sufferings of this present 
are not worthy to be compared with the hereafter glory " ; 
already she was an organizer who could plan enterprises 
and set out on them too, sometimes over hastily. She 



was practical, showing no scorn of material needs (had 
she not her bag of raisins ?), and she took her brother 
with her, persuaded, bribed, commanded to come, but 
enthroned as the lord and master of the expedition. All 
through her life Teresa required and demanded masculine 
approbation and support for her great deeds. To the 
last she considered her sex a drawback and always called 
herself contemptuously a mujercilla (poor little woman) 
refusing to stir a step till she had the countenance of her 
male superiors. She really believed she was acting under 
their guidance or orders ; while every one else perceived 
that it was she with her genius her courage and her charm, 
her rare judgment and her constant beautiful sympathy, 
who was the moving spirit and the governor of whatever 
enterprise she had in hand. 

Teresa was born in her father's house at Avila, in the 
room now a side-chapel of the church, on a March day of 
1515 ; one of nine children. Of her many brothers and 
step-brothers the greater number went to the New World, 
had heroic careers there and made fortunes. Of her two 
sisters, Maria the elder, a step-sister, married Don Martin 
de Guzman, and Juana, younger than herself, married 
Juan de Ovalle, an excellent if somewhat pee\dsh hidalgo 
of Alba de Tormes. In those days children took the 
surnames of either father or mother, very occasionally of 
both as is now the Spanish custom. A wife retained 
her maiden name, instead of taking her husband's, 
all of which is sufftciently confusing. Teresa and Juana 
called themselves Ahumada after their mother ; Rodrigo 
on the other hand and Maria were called Cepeda. Teresa 
had her innocent satisfaction in her long lineage, though 
she repeatedly reminds herself that pride of birth, like all 
other pride, is vanity and a snare. 

She was keenly sensible of the blessing of good parents. 


pure home life, early training. Her mother, Beatriz, was 
beautiful, singularly simple and retiring ; her only fault 
that passion for romantic literature. She was an invalid, 
and died before Teresa was twelve. Alonzo, the widower, 
was austere ; so sternly self-controlled that never was he 
heard to swear, or even to grumble (truly a great virtue !). 
He was charitable ; tender with sick persons — including 
his wife — kind to the poor and to his servants. He refused 
ever to keep a slave, and when one of his brothers brought 
a slave to his house insisted on her being treated as a 
daughter. He was also a careful man of business. At the 
Ayuntamiento ^ of Avila, I have been shown a title- 
deed relating to a money deposit, signed by himself and 
by one of his sisters. 

In Teresa's young life, the death of her gentle mother 
was the first event of importance. It gave her a sense of 
great forlornness ; and she threw herself before an image 
of Our Lady and prayed that the Mother of God 
would be also the mother of her little self. In her bed- 
room too, she had an image of Christ at the well with the 
woman of Samaria, and she knelt before it saying, " Lord 
give me this water." 

The symbol of the water impressed her deeply. Water 
became her favourite among all natural objects ; and in 
her mystical writings, especially in a long and beautiful 
passage in her Autobiography, she works out the simile 
of the living water with great poetry and insight. It is 
from this so-called Autobiography that we learn these 
details of her childhood ; but the book is not a biography 
in the usual sense. It tells little of her outer life, and 
is simply a history of her soul written at a critical period 
by command of her spiritual director. 

Having lost her mother the child was left to the care 

^ Ayuntamiento — Town hall. 


of the stern father, not yet her confidant, and her step- 
sister Maria. She became very frivolous. At least, 
writing long afterwards when she had made the nun's 
ideal of perpetual virginity entirely her own, she accuses 
herself of great frivolity ; but careful reading of her own 
words and those of her friends cannot disclose worse than 
the natural vanity and amusements of a lively girl, who had 
as she modestly confesses, " rather more than the ordinary 
graces of nature." 

Unknown to her father, but of course abetted by 
Rodrigo, she plunged with her mother's zest into the 
reading of the tales of chivalry ; and even spent hours of 
the day and the night " in the vain exercise of trying to 
write one." Comparing herself with the peerless heroines 
of those tremendous tales, she became anxious to look 
nice, was enamoured of dress, scents, jewellery, and especi- 
ally of cleanliness. Not till later did she perceive how 
dangerous cleanliness can be to the soul ! Fortunately 
this pursuit of cleanliness was a temptation she never 
got the better of. In fact she finally classed it with the 
virtues, and like Ignatius Loyola required it of her disciples, 
and mentioned it in the rules for her convents. Truly 
we may claim Teresa as among the first of the 
moderns ! 

The girl made friends with a worldly relation who had 
been disapproved b}^ the dead mother ; worse still, she 
delighted in some young men cousins, the only male 
visitors she was allowed to see. The young men talked 
of their love affairs. Teresa was greedy to listen and not 
averse to a little flirtation herself. For a brief three 
months we are in the atmosphere of Lope de Vega's Sword- 
and-Cloak plays, which reflect the manners of the time. 
We have the insistent gallants, the servant go-betweens, 
the notes and appointments, the sprightly, flirtatious. 



j yet essentially self-respecting young girls, who are so 
jealously, yet so inefficiently guarded by their fathers 
and brothers. 

No child's play was flirtation in those days. The 
exigencies of the code of Honour were such that the cavalier 
approached his lady with his very life in his hand, and if 
she listened to him she jeopardized not only her reputation, 
but her existence and that of her nearest kindred. For no 
gentleman must sit down under an agravio (affront) but 
must avenge himself or die in the attempt ; and no agravio 
could be so shocking as irregular addresses to his wife, his 
sister, or his daughter. Everything and any one must 
be sacrificed to this pun d'onor (point of honour). An 
impertinence or a folly must be punished as severely as 
a crime ; a lady was compromised even by unwelcome 
attentions. Unless the admirer could instantly marry 
her, they must both die. 

Extremes, however, meet ; and the very dangers of 
love-making rendered it perilously attractive. To defy 
the guardian was considered high spirit on the lady's 
part, courage and manliness on the lover's. It was taken 
for granted that all the golden lads and girls were in love, 
and on the watch for opportunity. A definite system 
of disguise was invented to help them and apparently 
was tolerated and connived at. The lady who went out 
disguised {tapada), if pursued by husband, father, brother, 
or molested by some unwelcome admirer, had the privilege of 
throwing herself on the protection of the first even stranger 
gentleman she chanced to meet ; and the pun d'onor 
required that he should assist her at the very risk of his 
life. Public sympathy, however, not being entirely with 
the lovers, very few gentlemen cared to have the office of 
champion thus thrust upon them. 

So far the poets ; real life may not have observed the 


pun d'onor in ;ill its rigidity, but it was sufficiently recog- 
nized for the plays not to seem absurd. 

In Teresa de Ahumada's quiet home, there was doubt- 
less small opportunity for intrigue, and her innate purity 
and sterling good sense preserved her from dangerous 
adventures. When later, from the height of her saint- 
hood, she tells of the risks she had run at fifteen, she is 
thinking less of the risk to her reputation than of the peril 
to her soul. She says she played with fire and endangered 
her father and her brothers ; yet what tempted her was 
mere love of merriment and lively talk, for " all wantonness 
seemed to her then as now entirely detestable." In after 
years, dealing with scandals which had arisen with regard 
to certain of her nuns, she speaks of her diffidence in 
judging such affairs, " never herself having had experi- 
ence of them." It is clear from studying her writings 
and those of her contemporary acquaintances, that her 
levity went no further than girlish gaiety, and the pranks 
of short-lived rashness and fun. 

But the vigilant father took alarm. He found an "> 
excuse in his eldest daughter's marriage to pack the giddy 
Teresa (his favourite) off to school. That is to say, he / 
sent her as boarder to the Augustinian Convent of Our / 
Lady of Grace, and kept her there for a year and a half / 
till she fell ill and was sent home to be nursed. The 
discipline had answered. She came back much sobered. 
She had made friends among the nuns, and was already 
half in love with convent life. She had begun that course 
of oracion (mental prayer) which with one short interval 
was to be the practice of her life ; and when she left the 
convent she asked the nuns definitely to beseech God 
" that He would place her in that estate in which it would 
be her portion to serve Him." 

By this Teresa did not mean necessarily the cloister. 


Her calling was not yet clear, not yet desired. She was 
returning to the world, returning to her father to share 
his life ; a delight to him, who wanted his favourite child 
pious yet wanted her at his side. 

Recovered from her illness, she visited her step-sister 
Maria de Cepeda, wife of Don Martin de Guzman at 
Castellanos de Caiiada, and had such a pleasant stay that 
in her simple manner she " thanks God for their kindness, 
and for having always arranged that people should be 
fond of her." 

Thence she went to Hortigosa, a village four miles from 
Avila, to stay with her uncle Pedro Sanchez de Cepeda. 
Pedro was a widower, elderly, very religious, a good 
talker. A few years later he became a monk. Teresa, 
always fond of conversation, enjoyed her discussions with 
him, chiefly on religious subjects, " on God and the 
vanity of the world." And he set her reading religious 
books, which she did out of courtesy " being not yet 
friendly to them." She found the books more interesting 
than she had expected ; she found also that her aversion 
to the cloister was disappearing. 

She returned home unable to deny the impression her 
uncle had made upon her. For three months she was 
tortured by uncertainty as to her future. Her vocation 
was becoming evident to herself if not to others ; yet 
still the world was dear. Her home was happy ; she had 
her little sister, her father, her many brothers. She was 
liked, admired, probably courted. She had the memory 
of the merry days with the love-making cousins. She 
went about, visited others beside the serious uncle. We 
do not gather that she was musical ; but she certainly had 
an artist's eye for a landscape. She perhaps took country 
walks with her duenna (she must have had a duenna !) or 
amused herself in the orchard and the garden, for allusions 


in her writings show all such pleasures to have been long 
familiar to her. 

And had she not visited Maria, the happily wedded 
sister whose babies were beginning to come, and must it 
not have occurred to the bright young girl that Maria's 
was a pleasant destiny, and that her father could easily 
arrange something similar for herself ? 

Teresa, in her writings, has many a good word for 
marriage, and many a congratulation for young niece or 
nephew entering upon its responsibilities. She never 
despised the worldly, still less the home life ; nor said 
to her sisters who were wives and mothers, " Stand aside — 
I am holier than thou." Some of her chosen advisers 
were men and women in the world ; and she repeatedly 
urges that God leads souls to Himself by different paths, 
and that in the way of perfection oftentimes the first shall 
be last, and the last first. Still the virgin life was set 
before her and before every one as the highest ; and 
Teresa was so constituted that at any cost to herself she 
must needs choose the highest. 

She discussed with her father her project of becoming 
a nun ; but was dismayed by his immediate and uncom- 
promising refusal of consent. Why did he refuse ? Know- 
ing his open profession of religion Teresa might well wonder. 
Perhaps Alonzo was before his age and had dim doubts 
about the holiness of virginity. Perhaps he distrusted 
nunneries ; ■ for though Spain had purified her convents still 
scandals did arise, and the writers of the new school of 
realistic fiction spared neither Reverend Fathers, nor holy 
Mother Abbesses in their gibes. More likely he had not 
his daughter's sublime self-denial, and was unwilling to be 
deprived of his child. He told her bluntly she could take 
the veil after his death, and would listen no further. 

Thus repulsed, we do not read that Teresa took volun- 


tary and extravagant vows upon herself or became an 
eccentric and troublesome Beata (a religious amateur) as 
was the resource of so many girls in a predicament like hers. 
Half measures and compromises did not attract her, nor 
was she ever fond of Beatas whom she thought conceited, and 
perhaps inclined to make the best of two worlds. She 
consulted her brother Antonio who also was inclining 
to the religious life. Together they decided that dis- 
obedience to their father was their only possible course, 
and they determined to leave their home. 

Very early on the 2nd of November 1533, the brother 
and sister went out together, Antonio for the Dominicans 
of Santo Tomas, Teresa for the Carmelites of the Convent 
of the Encarnacion (Incarnation) just outside the walls. 
The girl's head drooped and she wept. She felt as if she were 
dying — this is her own account — as if every bone in her body 
were being torn from her : "for not yet had she that love 
of God which overwhelms the love for an earthly father." 

Indeed she seems to have taken the step almost blindly, 
led by some higher power than her own ; imagining 
herself merely purchasing future bliss at the cost of all 
happiness in this life. She had no conception that the 
religious life has its own joys. Happiness, she supposed 
reserved for the kingdom of heaven and she had not 
yet realized that the kingdom of heaven can begin in 
this world. But, she says, " God gave her courage against 
herself, and she had no thought of turning back." 

They descended by the steep path from the walls, 
the beautiful thirteenth-century Church of San Vicente 
visible on their right, and below it the romanesque San 
Andres. They passed along a country lane bordered by a 
few cottages which are inhabited to this day. The autumn 
rains had swollen the little stream at the foot of the hill and 
the mud was almost impassable ; but such difficulties 


were unnoticed in the sixteenth century even by pedes- 
trians. They reached the convent building, with its 
stern high walls, buttresses, and towers, all of fine pro- 
portions and architectural merit. They knocked at 
the great wooden door. It opened. Teresa entered and 
it closed behind her. Antonio went on alone ; till a 
great door had closed also on him at Santo Tomas. 

When Teresa found herself within the convent walls 
she felt a great content which was no passing exaltation 
but remained with her through life ; " God having changed 
the dryness of her soul into wondrous tenderness and joy, 
and the quiet of a holy peace." 



TERESA was born in 15 15 two years before the nail- 
ing of Luther's theses to the door of the church 
at Wittenberg, which may be considered the pubhc 
commencement of the Reformation. 

The first of the Medici Popes, Leo x, who shone more 
as the patron of art than as a saint or a spiritual lord, 
was in the chair of Saint Peter ; Michael Angelo had 
lately completed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and 
Raphael was still at work on the Stanze. 

Francis i reigned in France, Henry viii in England, 
Maximilian was Emperor. Of the renowned " Catholic 
Kings" of Spain, Ferdinand was still ruler of Aragon, but 
Isabella had died in 1504, and the demented Juana, their 
daughter, was Queen of Castille, the country being dis- 
tracted by the question who should perform her public 
duties in her place. 

Ferdinand's second marriage produced no heir, so 
on his death in 15 16 it was not Spain's fate to be again 
split into two kingdoms. Juana la Loca, became queen 
of the whole country and remained so till her death in 
1555 ) but her son, Charles, was associated with her in 
the sovereignty and was the virtual ruler. Charles was 
too much of a foreigner to be ever very popular in Spain ; 
the poor queen was remembered with affection and occa- 
sional efforts were made to bring her forward, but she 


left no mark upon history. Few stories are more pathetic 
than this of the mad woman whose only importance was 
that she had illustrious parents, and a greater son whom 
she scarcely knew. 

In 1517, Charles, a backward boy of dull exterior and 
little initiative, came to Spain, was coldly received, and 
made a series of mistakes, which ended in the abortive social 
wars of the Germanias in Valencia, and the Comunidades 
in Castille. General irritation was increased when in 1519 
Charles was elected to the imposing position of Emperor, 
and left Spain to take up his new duties. 

He returned in 1522, and at once showed himself 
greatly changed. No longer a tool in the hands of 
others he had become conscious of his responsibilities and 
of his own genius for supporting them. He was already 
what he remained through life, self-reliant, laborious, 
upright and dependable ; a man of judgment and fore- 
sight, of patience and high courage, able to form great 
conceptions and large plans, on the whole fortunate in 
carrying them out. 

His task was not the bringing of liberty to Spain ; 
it was rather the consolidation of what his predecessors 
had achieved. Spain's constitution was already formed. 
The unification of her kingdoms was accomplished. She 
was now reaching out to lands beyond her seas, both in 
Europe and in the vast unknown shores of the New World. 
Charles's long absences were not entirely good for the 
nation's internal prosperity ; but his continual journeying 
and his immense wars made for the fuller life of the world. 
They furthered the growth and the spread of ideas, and 
brought his people into contact with other nations. It 
was the time of Spain's glory and she learned to be 
proud of her Emperor- King who had given it to her. 

1522 saw the conquest of Mexico ; that of Peru was 


ten years later. Great riches flowed into Spain and 
Portugal, not alas ! to be used in the wisest way nor to 
prove a permanent blessing. 1522 was memorable also 
for the advance of the Turks as far as Rhodes. Terror 
spread through Europe, and laid another labour on the 
indefatigable Emperor. In the year of the conquest of 
Peru the power of the Turks was checked, though it was 
not really broken till the battle of Lepanto forty years 

In 152 1 the splendid Leo was succeeded by Adrian of 
Utrecht who had been the Emperor's tutor. He was a 
failure as Pope. In Renaissance times, a Pope who called 
the Greek statues idols and was quite deficient in historic 
or literary culture could not satisfy the brilliant Latins nor 
hold in check the violence of the revolting north. He 
called the throne his Chair of Misery, and died a dis- 
appointed man, who had disappointed also his ven- 
erating pupil. His successor, Clement vii, another 
Medici, lacked discernment and brought in catastrophe. 
He chose the losing side in the great struggle between 
Charles and Francis. The battle of Pa via made Charles 
supreme in Italy ; another year saw Rome sacked ; and 
the Pope, who had conspired against his sincerest friend, 
was taken prisoner. Charles might have abolished the 
whole temporal power of the Papacy ; and he wished to 
force the Pope to the summoning of a General Council for 
consultation as to Church reform. But the Spanish 
clergy petitioned for the Pope's release, and Charles was 
too good a Catholic to remain at enmity with his spiritual 
chief. Peace was restored ; the conqueror kissed the foot 
of his captive, and received from him the crowns of iron 
and of gold. But the war shook the power of the Vatican 
in Spain ; while in Germany it favoured the cause of 
Protestantism. The Diet of Augsburg in 1530, the 


League of Schmalkaldcn, the peace of Nuremberg, and 
the secession of England, were all steps in the triumph 
of the Reformation and the final destruction of Christian 
unity. Clement died in 1534, and was followed by a 
series of reforming Popes ; who, largely under Spanish 
influence, carried out the Counter Reformation, putting an 
end to the great moral and ecclesiastical scandals which had 
made Catholicism a byword. 

In 1555 (the same year that Juana la Loca died), the 
Emperor, worn out by his ceaseless labours in the service 
of the ancient Church and of modern Europe, perhaps 
threatened with that melancholy which had overwhelmed 
his mother, solemnly resigned his crowns and devoted 
the rest of his life to retirement in a Spanish monastery. 
It is significant that he chose Spain for his retreat, he who 
to the Spaniards had always seemed a foreigner. Perhaps 
he wished to be near his son ; perhaps he reflected on the 
pleasures of a southern climate. More probably he felt 
that religion as he understood it, now his chief enthusiasm, 
flourished best in Spain ; it seemed indigenous there and 
had been fostered by centuries of holy wars. There 
piety was not considered strange, philosophy was repre- 
sented by a school of Christian mystics, the very govern- 
ment was as near a theocracy as is possible among modern 
men. There, thought Charles, religion is not a business 
of politics, of intrigue, and worldliness, but is of the very 
essence of life ; and he who wishes to make his peace 
with God, can do so most naturally and most easily in 

The new king, Philip 11, was born in 1527, the year of 
the sack of Rome. Educated in Spain, he had the Spanish 
dignity and reserve, also the Spanish contempt for bodily 
suffering which produces the so-called Spanish cruelty ; 
above all he had the Spanish devotion, not to the Papacy 


with which he had constant dispute, but to rehgion and 
the Church. 

With Enghshmen, Phihp is an unpopular figure, for 
his character was essentially un-English. But he was a 
good deal of an idealist ; and much may be forgiven to a 
Stoic who marches unfalteringly on, his eyes fixed on 
the end. In his own country and in his family he was 
understood, and he was loved. Lope's plays and those 
of the later dramatists, all with their strong appeal to 
loyalty, and devotion to the person of the king, date from 
the reign of Philip ii. 

Less warlike than his father, unwilling to lead his 
troops in person, Philip was served by generals among the 
greatest of the day. The victories of St. Quentin and of 
Gravelines, the rout of the Turks at Lepanto, were the 
glories of a reign which Englishmen are apt to connect 
chiefly with the defeat of the Armada and the rise of the 
Dutch Republic. 

But it was not miUtary glory — the dismemberment of 
France, the invasion of England, or the acquisition of new 
territories — that was really the dominant interest of 
Philip II. Domestic and especially religious affairs were 
his preoccupation. As centralization was his plan and 
he had great power of mastering detail, his finger was felt 
all through the country in every concern. He was a 
despot and he established despotism ; but he did not 
himself abuse it, except in a few instances — such as the 
persecution of Antonio Perez, of which we do not know 
the full inner history. He interested himself deeply in 
every ecclesiastical question, and was jealous of inter- 
ference from the Vatican. He regarded heresy as a 
crime, and resolved to stamp it out of his dominions. In 
Spain he succeeded, whether for evil or for good. To him 
it seemed unquestionably for good. 



The sixteenth century was a troubled time all over 
Europe, when the oldest and most revered institutions 
were in every country tried in the balance, and if found 
wanting were contemptuously thrust aside. The bursting 
of old fetters, the invasion of new ideas, the realization of 
strength on the part of those who had been kept down, 
brought fear to the men in high places that they would 
lose what they held and be pushed from their seats. They 
fought hard to retain their positions and were not scrupu- 
lous how they did it. The sovereigns of the day were able ; 
the wave of intellect which had passed over the countries 
had not left them untouched. Never was a time when 
there were fewer conspicuous idiots. But speaking gener- 
ally, they could not be described as personally high- 
minded or conscientious, living and ruling in the spirit of 
the words of Christ. 

Charles and Philip do not show so badly among them. 
At least they had a strong sense of duty that we do not 
always find among their contemporaries. They made 
mistakes as all men must. In Spain, the land of free 
institutions, they introduced a despotism which under 
their feebler, lighter-minded successors involved the country 
in ruin. Their religious zeal was extravagant, and ended 
in obscurantism which left Spain behind in the race for 
that progress which requires experiment in thought no 
less than in action. But success is not always to the well- 
meaning ; and at least Spain retained her individuality, her 
most interesting and impressive personal character. At the 
opening of the seventeenth century she was still in the 
van of the nations in character and in prestige. 

Great literature belongs to a great people in great 
times. It is a manifestation of the same bursting energy 
which makes some men warriors and some men saints. 


Saint Teresa was born before the printing-press was 
established in Spain. Books were beginning to be 
accessible and the art of reading became more general. 
The education of ladies had never been wholly neglected, 
and girls of lofty position were taught Latin as a matter 
of course. We hear of Juana la Loca conversing with the 
Flemish nobles in that language. There were even ladies 
who lectured on Latin and Greek ; one being the daughter 
of Antonio de Nebrija, who published a Latin dictionary 
in 1492. There was much intercourse between Spain and 
Italy where the New Learning was making daily progress. 
Learned men visited the Peninsula and incited Spanish 
scholars to the study of Greek. In 1514, the year before 
Teresa was born, the Greek text of the New Testament 
was printed for the first time in Spain at Alcala de Henares. 

The Italian poets were also known in Spain, Dante, 
Boccaccio, Petrarch, all finding translators. After a time 
Italian metres were imitated, first by Boscan, — tutor to the 
great Duke of Alva — thenby Garcilaso whom both Cervantes 
and Lope considered the greatest poet of Castille. We 
may, however, be allowed to think that the less artificial 
lyrics of Fray Luis de Leon, and of Saint John of the Cross 
(both of whom will come into our chapter on the Mystics) 
were quite as good as anything produced by Garcilaso. 

Writers of prose, moral a ad didactic, have always been 
numerous in Spain, and fortunately are often witty. 
Such was Villalobos, the physician — a Converso — who 
wrote an amusing treatise called Las ires Grandes (the 
Three Great Ones), namely. Loquacity, Pertinacity, and 
Laughter. Perhaps he was not far out in thinking that 
they rule the world. 

The wordy and wandering chroniclers were gradually 
improving their style and evolving historians. Antonio 
de Guevara was Charles v's official chronicler ; he also 



wrote a book called The Dial of Princes, which reached 
England in a translation and is said to have had great 
influence on English prose. Another chronicler, Luis de 
Avila, wrote in such complimentary style that Charles v, 
who had a line share of caustic wit, declared — 

" In war I have less luck than Alexander, but I have 
more in my historian." 

A somewhat pretentious writer, Ocampo, Canon of 
Zamora, started his Universal History on too large a scale, 
and beginning with the Deluge, died before he had got to the 
Roman Emperors. Other chroniclers wrote of the con- 
quests in America, and Hernan Cortes himself in his 
reports shows great literary facility. He died in 1554. 

In popular literature the Books of Chivalry, with 
Amadis of Gaul at their head, carried all before them. 
We know all about them from Don Quixote, who so to 
speak finished them off. Teresa has told us how her 
mother and she herself were entranced by them. I have 
always been intending to read at least the Amadis, and 
try to get back into the frame of mind which thought it 
perfection of a book. Other times, other tastes ! How 
astounded would Beatriz de Ahumada have been that 
any one in such literature should forbode dreariness ! 

Late in the sixteenth century a fashion came up for 
religious romances in the style of the Books of Chivalry. 
One was called " The Knight of the Bright Star," another 
" The Conqueror of Heaven." Christ appears as the 
Knight of the Lion, John the Baptist the Knight of 
the Desert, the devil the Knight of the Serpent, and 
so on. 

An age ready to credit almost any marvels found no 
difficulty in believing the strange tales in the Books of 
Chivalry. One chronicler assures us that when Philip 
came to England to marry Mary Tudor, he solemnly 


swore that should King Arthur return to claim the English 
throne, he, Philip, would peaceably yield up his rights. 
But gradually, to oust the Books of Chivalry, another style 
of fiction was coming in ; a style which appeals to us more, 
for it has developed into that of the modern novel and the 
modern play. It began with La Celestina, a story in 
dramatic form published anonymously in 1499. This is 
not a tale of adventure but a study of character ; and its 
personages are not knights and heroes but the ordinary 
inhabitants of a contemporary city, with their manners, 
their talk, their habit, as they lived. With the pub- 
lication of Lazarillo de Tormes, before 1554, another step 
was taken towards modern fiction. This was the first of 
the Picaresque novels which speedily became immensely 
popular. Their form is commonly autobiographical and 
they describe the adventures more or less sordid of some 
lad who has no scruples and less wealth than wit. 
Cervantes attempted this style himself and with great 
success in his celebrated Rinconete y Cortadillo, written 
nearly a century after Lazarillo. 

From this Picaresque literature we learn a great deal 
about the manners and thoughts of ordinary folk. As the 
series goes on one change is very noticeable : whereas 
in the earlier stories the priest, the monk, the nun, are 
synonyms for hypocrisy and vice, in the later the Church 
is spoken of with respect, and the priest and the nun if they 
come in at all, come in as " good " characters. This is 
what we should expect, remembering the purification of 
the Church in the course of the sixteenth century. 

The profane drama was at this period disentangling 
itself from the Miracle Plays and Autos (allegorical dia- 
logues composed for performance at the festival of Corpus 
Christi) — for long the only pieces acted. 

Lope de Rueda, a gold-beater of Seville, was the first 


genuine playwright. He not only wrote plays — vigorous, 
natural, popular, not classical — but he also got together 
a troop of actors and had his pieces performed in the 
principal cities, on a rude platform set up in some public 
place, with blankets for scenery, and for costume four 
sheepskins, four wigs, one beard, and a shepherd's staff. 

Thus the theatre was recognized among the regular 
popular amusements of the sixteenth century ; but Teresa 
makes no allusion to it. The love of acting, however, 
common to children and probably engrained in the char- 
acter of those Spaniards whose drama of the succeeding 
century is the second in importance of modern Europe, 
breaks out even in a convent. In one of the saint's 
letters, we find a description of how the little Isabel, — a 
child in training to be a nun — invented and, with the 
help of her dolls, most cleverly performed a little Christmas 
piece ; with the Blessed Virgin, and the Holy Child, and 
the shepherds and the manger and the oxen ; for the 
pious delight, and the " great recreation " of all the sisters 
and no less of the great Mother Teresa herself. 

In Spain of the sixteenth century the greater number 
of the beautiful buildings which we admire to-day were 
already standing. It has been said that she has no archi- 
tecture of her own, she built always in the style of some 
other country ; if so she showed excellent judgment in her 

There is one magnificent Roman monument upon 
which Saint Teresa's eyes must often have rested, the Aque- 
duct at Segovia. At Segovia also, and at Avila, are some 
of the oldest churches, their date before the twelfth century. 
Deserted now and falling into most picturesque ruin, they 
accommodated large congregations not so many centuries 
ago, when Avila and Segovia were important places, and 


religious zeal ran high. Some of the Moorish buildings 
are older still. The little church of El Cristo de la Luz 
at Toledo was a mosque built in a.d. 922 and christianized 
on the taking of the city by Alfonso vi in 1085. We 
cannot say whether Teresa took any interest in Moorish 
buildings ; most likely not. She makes no mention of 
them ; but at least we know she was detained at the 
entry to the Moorish bridge at Cordova; and she must 
often have seen the beautiful Giralda tower at Seville. 

The cathedrals were all built or were building in her 
lifetime. Burgos, Toledo, Avila are early ; Seville belongs 
to the fifteenth century ; Salamanca and Segovia — much 
like each other and very beautiful with their lovely golden 
stone and exquisite symmetry — are of Teresa's century. 
One characteristic of Spanish buildings is the smallness 
of the windows. Outside there are great stretches of 
blank wall, not unimposing ; within, mystery and gloom, 
in which the richness of tapestry and velvet, old gilding 
and coloured figures, gains an added charm. The Cathedral 
of Avila, doubtless familiar to Teresa in her early days, 
suggests a fortress, and is cold and severe like the rest 
of the town. Toledo Cathedral, richest of all in mediaeval 
furniture and decoration, once the wealthiest of all the 
wealthy churches of the Peninsula, has an atmosphere of 
romance in its every aisle and chapel, a suggestion of 
history made visible that must impress the most careless. 
But the architects of these cathedrals are forgotten, 
some indeed unknown, vaguely set down as foreigners. 
The Renaissance brought a few noteworthy names, especi- 
ally that of Herrera, who designed Philip's sublime Escorial. 
Spanish Sculptors have on the whole done better than 
Spanish Painters. The latter have a few greater names, 
but the general level of sculpture was the higher. Even 
before 1200 beautiful stone or even ivory figures of the 


Madonna, some of Ihcni quite small, were taking their 
place over the altars. Portrait monuments began early, 
and with the Renaissance attained a pitch of high excellence. 
Some of these monuments are large and very elaborate, 
with details of most exquisitely delicate carving. Such 
is the monument to Cardinal Tavera at Toledo, that of 
the Infante Juan, at Santo Tomas in Avila ; and, less 
pretentious, the monuments in the Carmelite Church at 
Alba de Tormes to Teresa's sister Juana and Juan de 
Ovalle her husband. 

Very Spanish are the coloured wooden figures, often 
very fine, specimens of which may be seen in every church. 
At Valladolid there is a fine collection of these figures in 
the museum ; amongst them a beautiful representation of 
Teresa herself. The goldsmith had his triumphs no less 
than the sculptor, exhibited principally in the magnificent 
ciistodias, for the reception of the Blessed Sacrament, which 
are the pride of many of the cathedrals. The best of them 
belong to the sixteenth century ; for instance that of 
Toledo which is adorned with a myriad silver gilt figures, 
and encloses a monstrance made of the first gold which 
Columbus brought from the New World. 

Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles and Philip, were all 
patrons of art ; and, Charles especially, interested in 
painting. He encouraged native talent and sent the 
painters to Italy to study ; bought many Italian pictures 
and induced the great foreigners to visit Spain. No 
collection is so rich as that of the Prado in works by Titian 
and Tintoretto. The greatest names in Spanish painting, 
Zurbaran, Ribera, Murillo, Velasquez, belong to the next 
century. But religious painting, used for practical decora- 
tion of retablos ^ or side-chapels, was quietly and little 

^ Retablo, large reredos decorated with painting or sculpture or both, 
erected above the high altar. 


noticed attaining a high level. The type for the figure 
of Jesus evolved by successive painters has touched the 
hearts of thousands in its aspect of dignified suffering and 
undaunted fortitude ; reminiscent of that verse, " No 
man taketh my life from me — I lay it down of myself." 

And the sixteenth century had excellent portrait- 
painters : Antonio Moro who painted Philip's second 
wife Mary Tudor ; and Sanchez Coello who made charm- 
ing pictures of his little daughters ; and Pantoja de la 
Cruz, whose is the touching and interesting picture of 
Philip himself in his old age, which now hangs in the 
Escorial Library. 

The extraordinary Greek artist Theotocopuli, better 
known as simply El Greco, was living and painting at 
Toledo while Teresa was there. He was not content with 
the human body as God made it, and liked to elongate and 
twist his figures till they seem flames rather than men ; 
but his faces are always impressive and beautiful with the 
beauty of soul, the rapture of vision, the triumph of spirit 
over the " muddy vesture of decay." I wish Teresa could 
have sat to him instead of to the untrained friar who 
painted her portrait in Seville when she was over sixty. 
Obviously he did his careful best, but was unable to repre- 
sent her as anything but stiff, and plain, and, alas ! almost 

El Greco would have given us a glimpse of her soul ; 
even if the beauties of her girlhood, the curly black hair, 
the bright full dark eyes and finely arched brows, the 
flashing teeth and red and smiling lips, had vanished with 
the revolving years. 






NO one can read the history of Spain, without feeling 
that it is pre-eminently a religious history. From 
the time she became Christian, her clergy were 
the most prominent part of the nation, and her kings ruled 
literally by their permission. Persecution of misbelievers 
began early of course ; per secution was the habit in all 
countries, for the men of those days attached more im- 
portanceTo unif Orinity of belief than we do to its liberty. 

An unhesitating, unconfused, unquestioning, axiomatic 
faith in Heaven and Hell, in a personal^iodand an inspired 
Church, was in the opinion of the heads of Catholicism 
the right sort of faith for the laity to hold. For the 
ordinary man is a poor logician, and if he has got his faith 
by reasoning, he will always have a lurking suspicion 
that he may have reasoned badly. If on the other hand 
he believes himself inspired personally by the Holy Spirit, 
he will have moments of depression in which he will fear 
he has been deluded. But if he holds his faith as an axiom, 
has been born into it, has known no other, has grown 
with it till it has become a part of himself, — like his sense 
of honour, for instance, — then indeed he has got it tight, 
then he is not likely to let himself be talked out of it, or 
permanently to cast it away. The efforts, including the 

persecutions, of the early Church were aimed at the establish- 



merit and the preservation of this axiomatic faith among 
the common people. 

In Spain, the Church's task had been more difficult 
than elsewhere, because the misbelievers — Mohammedans, 
and great numbers of Jews — were there actually estab- 
lished in the land, and with certain inalienable rights 
bestowed on them by lax or terrified early kings. The 
Spanish Catholic could not live without knowledge of 
unbelievers and contact with them. And the fact that 
toleration of the infidel came quite natural to the common 
people, was alarming to the Church ; she had to put forth 
all her strength and employ every artifice if she were to 
hold her own, if she were not to see, first indifference, then 
apostasy, become the habit of the land. 

The Church triumphed. By persuasions and by 
threatenings, she so worked upon the soul of the people 
that Spain became a nation of crusaders, and centuries 
before the establishment of the Inquisition, her holy wars 
against the infidels had taught her to connect the idea of 
religion with the idea of force. By degrees the religious 
sentiment became identified with the national sentiment. 
Without the bond of union provided by religion Spain 
could never have attained to political unity, individualism 
being a strong instinct in the Spaniard, and the different 
provinces being quite separate and always jealous of each 

As the years went on, the religious feeling grew ever 
stronger and stronger. It was irritable, violent, armed, 
prone to excess ; typified by the town of Santa Fe built 
in the very face of the Moorish capital. It overflowed 
the whole country. It drove the infidel further and 
further away. It forcibly converted him, or as far as 
possible it suppressed him. After a while, if the kings 
neglected the care of the Church the people insisted upon 


it. Sometimes the populace exceeded their very priests 
in fer\'(inr. A bishop was declared apostate because he 
said that wilfully to excite the fury of the Moslems, was 
the work not of a martyr but of a fool. 

The Inquisition, hrst established in 1232 and reorganized 
by Ferdinand and Isabella, is said to have changed the 
Spanish character ; but unless sympathetic to the national 
sentiment it could never have attained such power nor 
have lasted so long. It was not an agency for fighting 
heathenism, but for rooting out heresy and hypocrisy. 
Its jurisdiction was only over baptized persons ; originally 
over the Conversos — converted Jews — and Moriscoes — 
converted Moors — who having been baptized by force or 
for reasons of self-interest, were very apt secretly to relapse 
into their former religion. They were accused not only 
of relapsing, but of proselytizing. The Conversos were 
especially hated. Occasionally some fact became public 
which encouraged a belief that they were capable of any 
atrocity. Andres Gonzalez, parish priest of Talavera in 
i486, confessed that for fourteen years he had secretly 
held the Jewish faith. At Temblaque, a Jew confessed 
that he had stolen a child at Toledo, killed it, and used its 
heart in some hideous incantation. The crimes of the 
Moriscoes, if milder, were no less blasphemous. They 
rubbed the baptismal oil off their children ; they revered 
Friday and profaned the Christian Sunday ; they " washed 
even in December " ; they captured little boys and sent 
them to Barbary to be made Mohammedans. Naturally 
the people were furious and panic-struck. 

The Jews, however, were rich and heavily taxed ; they 
were skilled as artificers and as physicians, while the Moors 
were admirable farmers, builders, scribes. Both con- 
tributed largely to the material prosperity of the kingdom, 
as of course every one knew. Was Spain to consider 


material prosperity when faith was in peril ? As a country 
her mind was set not on an earthly but on a heavenly crown ; 
and she was ready to cut off her right hand, so that, 
maimed, she might enter into the kingdom of God. 

When Ferdinand hesitated about the expulsion of the 
Jews, because some Rothschild of the day had offered a 
great gift to the revenue, Torquemada (himself of Jewish 
blood) forced his way into the royal presence, flung his 
crucifix on the ground and cried — 

" Judas sold his Master for thirty pieces of silver ; will 
you sell Him for thirty thousand ? " 

Torquemada, Alva, Philip, have been blamed for 
intolerance and cruelty, as if they were exceptional 
monsters. But no, their temper was the temper of 
their countrymen ; and it is always rash to indite a whole 
nation. Rather let us bear in mind how a state of mind 
came about so unlike anything with which we are now 
acquainted, and consider what were the ideals of a country 
that lost the world to attain them. 

For certainly, she did attain them. She kept religion 
alive in her own land, and she constituted herself the 
champion of the Catholic Church, throwing her whole 
force into the effort, first, to check the advance of the 
followers of the False Prophet ; then, to stem the flood 
of Protestantism which was threatening to overspread 
Europe. Her methods were rude and bloody as in those 
days all methods were apt to be, and in the North, 
among the Teutonic peoples she failed. But she sent 
the Moors back to Africa and the Turks to the East ; 
she rooted out heresy from her own country, giving the 
Latin peoples confidence to support their old faith, and she 
kept the Pope firm on the Chair of Saint Peter, a temporal 
lord no less than a spiritual power. 

And to her credit it must always be remembered that 


she effected this confirmation of the Pope's authority largely 
by her reiterated and stimulating demands for reform in 
the Church itself. It was Spain which insisted on the 
Fifth Latcran Council and on the Council of Trent. It 
was Spanish theologians who were most prominent at the 
meetings of the Council and most resolute in the dis- 
cussion less of dogma and routine, than of Church govern- 
ment and Church principles. It was the Spanish king 
who resisted the Pope himself in many matters which 
tended to the darkening of his spiritual light. 

When Teresa de Jesus lay dying, she thanked God that 
she had lived and died a child of Holy Church ; and in this 
she showed herself a true daughter and representative of her 
country. The position of Spain in the sixteenth century 
was that she was the champion of the Church ; because, 
most passionately, she believed that the Church was the 
earthly manifestation of God. 

During the Middle Ages worship had become everywhere 
almost— £iitirely ceremonial. There were processions, 
pilgrimages, indulgences, superstitions, miracles even ; but 
little spiri_tuality. Erasmus said a new Judaism had arisen ; 
and a French bishop declared the Church a stronghold of 
vice, a city of refuge for the wicked. Time after time the 
Spanish Cortes presented long rolls of petitions against the 
Church ; complaints of its oppressions, its neglect of public 
burdens and responsibilities ; its idleness and corruption. 

But early in the fifteenth century improvement began. 
Saints arose, — the best known among them Saint Vincent 
Ferrer — who lived in self-denial and went about preaching 
and_d.Qing. works of charity. 

At the universities, theology had been almost forgotten. 
Now it was restored to its place ; and with renewed in- 
terest in the subject some strange doctrines were pro- 



pounded and promptly suppressed. Most of these early 
errors, as reported to us, seem puerile enough. One 
scholar got into very hot water for suggesting that Jesus 
Christ was crucified on the 3rd of April. Pedro de Osma 
was punished for declaring publicly that the word ecclesi- 
astical was not synonymous with the word divine. A 
Cistercian monk was condemned for preaching that men 
should do good works out of love to God, not for 
the hope of eternal life. Later a beautiful sonnet 
often ascribed to Saint Teresa, follows somewhat the 
same line of thought, and shows that the sixteenth 
century had attained to nobler views than its predecessor — 


No me mueve, mi Dios, para 

El cielo que me tienes pro- 

Ni me mueve el infierno tan 

Para dejar por eso de ofen- 

Tu me mueves, mi Dios ; 

mueveme el verte 
Clavado en esa cruz y escar- 

necido ; 
Mueveme ver tu cuerpo tan 

herido ; 
Muevenme las angustias de tu 

muerto ; 
Mueveme, en fin, tu amor de 

tal manera 
Que, aunque no hubiera cielo, 

■ no te amara, 
Y aunque no hubiera infierno, 

te temiera. 
No me tienes que dar porque 

te quiera, 
Porque, si cuanto espero no 

Lo mismo que te quiero te 


'Tis not the Heaven Thou hast 

promised me 
Which moves me, O my God, 

to love Thy name, 
Nor is it hell, that dread abode 

of flame, 
Which moves me to forsake 

what grieveth Thee. 
Thou movest me, my God, 

when I do see 
Thee nailed upon that cross 

and put to shame, 
It moves me to behold Thy 

bruised frame 
Thy cruel death and bitter 

agony ; 
Thy love 'tis in a word which 

moves me so 
That I should love Thee were 

no Heaven above, 
And fear Thee even were no 

hell below. 
Nought needst Thou give me 

which my love should move, 
For hoped I not for that I hope 

for now 
I still should love Thee as I 

now Thee love. 


The first great Spanish reformer was the celebrated 
Cardinal Cisneros (Ximenes) who, as Archbishop of 
Toledo, Primate of Spain, and Queen Isabella's right 
hand, lived the austere life of the simplest monk. He 
founded the University of Alcala and instituted cathedral 
prebends to be given only to theological scholars. In 
Toledo he reformed the Chapter and restored the simple 
Mozarabic * worship. He reformed his own Order, the 
Franciscans, treating them with great severity and con- 
fiscating their wealth which he handed over to hospitals 
and other charities. Some of the monks he exiled, some 
he disfrocked. Complaints of his harshness reached the 
General of the Order, and even the Pope (Alexander vi), 
but Cisneros refused attention to any remonstrances. 

" Every one is ready to complain of the punishments," 
says the historian, " but they forget the crimes which re- 
quired them," and " Lo que no corrige la madre, lo castiga 
la madrasta (What the mother does not correct will be 
punished by the stepmother)." 

The Discalced Franciscans were reformed also by Saint 
Peter of Alcantara, whose wonderful career of self-morti- 
fication and asceticism is described by Teresa as almost 
superhuman. The Cistercians had already reformed 
themselves ; " long before the Protestants were thought 
of," says the historian. The Augustinians included the 
great names of Luis of Leon, and Tomas de Villanueva, 
Bishop of Valencia, who died the same year as Teresa, 
and was called in alliterative Spanish, Modelo de pre- 
lados, y padre de los pobres (the model of prelates and 
father of the poor). 

By degrees, a feeling rose in the Church against its 
own riches. The bishops, some of the abbots, not to 

* The Mozarabes were the Christians before and during the Jloorish 


mention the abbesses, had long been great secular princes 
wielding immense power, and thoroughly versed in worldly 
affairs. But now the asceticism and penury of saints, the 
rule of Poverty binding the rehgious of many Orders, 
made loud protest against covetousness ; just as the 
importance of the vow of Chastity was protest against 
the scandalous immorality not only of persons in the 
world but too often of churchmen themselves. 

Amongst other abuses, the papal claim to control 
Church patronage was long resented in Spain. Once, a 
regularly appointed Archbishop of Seville sent from Rome, 
was absolutely refused by the diocese and a vicar-general 
set up to act in his place. Charles v followed his grand- 
parents in perpetual representations to the Holy See on 
this matter of patronage, and finally saw it established 
that Spanish bishoprics should be held only by Spaniards 
chosen by the king. Philip was particularly careful in 
the selection of bishops. He knew the character and 
ability of all prominent ecclesiastics, and gave the great 
offices to learned and excellent men of pure life and simple 
manners who won universal esteem. 

Pluralities and the holding of State offices by bishops 
had necessitated absenteeism and neglect of episcopal 
duties, a state of affairs satirized several times by Cervantes. 
Many of the prelates wished to alter it, especially the 
great Cardinal Tavera who built the hospital at Toledo. 
He had been President of the Royal Council for many 
years, presiding at the meetings of the Cortes, going on 
embassies, etc. When made Primate and Archbishop of 
Toledo, he begged to be relieved of his secular office, but it 
was some time before the emperor could make up his 
mind to spare him. 

Another abuse was the exemption of the clergy from 
the authority of the secular courts. The spiritual courts 


were proverbially lenient; and vagabonds and criminals 
used to enrol themselves in the lower ranks of the clergy 
to escape justice. We learn from Cervantes that the 
lower clergy were despised ; but his cura del pueblo (village 
priest) who is not described as in any way exceptional, 
was a good man, well-bred, with some learning and much 
good sense, consulted and obeyed by everybody. 

Another sort of ecclesiastic was Vicente Espinel, 
author of the novel, Marcos de Ohregon. He belonged 
to a distinguished family at Ronda, and was destined 
for Orders and the family living. He studied at 
Salamanca, giving music lessons to support himself ; 
but in 1572 the university was closed in consequence of 
riots upon the persecution of Fray Luis de Leon by the 
Inquisition. Espinel became a soldier, was engaged in 
many discreditable adventures, managed to get ordained 
at thirty-four, and went to Ronda to take up the 
family living. But the people of Ronda refused to have 
him till he had written them a fine letter expressing con- 
trition for his evil life. After a time he again got mixed 
up in scandals, and the citizens complained to the 

" This chaplain is unbearable. Rebukes or chastise- 
ments cannot change evils rooted in the man's very nature, 
and confirmed by the tyranny of habit." 

The story illustrates what we shall several times observe 
in the history of Saint Teresa, the intense interest taken by 
ordinary citizens in religious affairs. 

Philip was accused of being less favourable to the old 
religious Orders than to new ones. Among the latter 
the Hospitularios de San Juan de Dios deserve honour- 
able mention. Their founder, a wild soldier born in 1495, 
was struck by a sermon of Juan de Avila, the Apostle of 
Andalucia. After some extravagance of penance the 


convert devoted himself to works of charity. Near 
Gibraltar he saw a vision of the Child Jesus carrying a 
granada (pomegranate) with a cross on it, and saying, 
" Juan de Dios, Granada shall be thy cross." So he 
bought a house at Granada, and fitted it up as a hospital, 
carrying the sick folk to it himself (as he is represented 
in the fine statue of him outside the National Library 
at Madrid), and devoting himself to the cure of their souls 
no less than of their bodies. Alms flowed in, helpers 
joined him. The archbishop took him under his protect- 
tion, bidding him however discard the rags he had thought 
meritorious and wear a proper habit — 

" For decency makes virtue yet more lovable," said 
the sensible prelate. 

Another philanthropist was Obregon, the founder of 
the congregation called by his name which ministered to 
the poor in the general hospital of Madrid. The story 
of his conversion relates that once in a Madrid street he 
struck a beggar who had splashed his fine clothes with 
mud. The beggar's meekness so impressed Obregon that 
he went home ashamed, and resolved to change his life. 

Fray Juan del Nino Jesus, afterwards one of Teresa's 
friars, served the sick in the hospital at Alcala, which had 
given shelter both to Columbus and to Ignatius Loyola. 
There is hardly a hospital in Spain which has not some 
tradition of the sixteenth century. Pedro Claver devoted 
himself in America to the service of the natives and became 
their slave. Jose Calasanz, a Spanish priest living in 
Rome, opened a ragged school in Trastevere which was 
the beginning of the Society of Las Escuelas Pias. Another 
society, which numbered among its distinguished names 
those of Gracian, of Saint Vincent de Paul, and of Cervantes 
(once a captive himself), was devoted to the help and 
redemption of those taken prisoner by the Moorish pirates 

Sonrtatts IeSV, q^uam ah anno i565 lulv z.aA Vl'q, 157Z 
Oihbns Z.JeUciter rexit: Ohijc Kom^, iztatisj'ua: sz. 

s V'irrx frrU tt rxtuJu . Cn" QrttuL. rt Tfua'.r^u . 'psrr-tMs. 



from Africa, whose sudden appearing, landing, and harry- 
ing of the country for miles around, was the constant 
terror of the eastern and southern Spanish coast. 

But of societies new and old none equalled in import- 
ance that founded by vSaint Ignatius. The story of the 
early Jesuits is too well known to need recapitulation. It 
is enough that in hohness and in influence they have 
never been surpassed ; and though from the first they 
have had enemies, it is probable that the maintenance 
of the Holy See, the moral and spiritual improvement 
in all ranks and in all places has been largely a result of 
their wonderful devotion, and of the splendid organization 
devised by a man of genius, if we are not to call him a man 

Ignatius himself, Laynez and Salmeron, who were the 
Pope's representatives at the Council of Trent, Xavier 
and Borja were all Spaniards. Most nearly connected 
with our subject was the last. Saint Francis Borgia (Borja), 
the third General of the Society. For it was he who 
encouraged Saint Teresa in the days when her raptures and 
visions were a stumbling-block. He was that brilliant 
soldier and courtier known in the world as the Duke of 
Gandia. It is said that he cherished a chivalrous and 
hopeless passion for the beautiful and beloved Isabel of 
Portugal, wife of Charles v, who died young and was 
never replaced in the emperor's affections. It fell to the 
lot of Francis, then Marquis de Lombay, to identify officially 
the dead empress ; and the shock of seeing so terrible a 
sight — for she had lain many days dead — and remembering 
that this was the woman who had been so beautiful, made 
a crisis in his life. Henceforth, he said, " Never more, never 
more would he serve princes who could die," Nunca mas, 
nunca mas servir d senor que se me puede morir ! 

Nine years later when he was Duke of Gandia and 


Viceroy of Cataluna, he left all his riches, his titles, his 
offices, and joined Ignatius, calling himself Father Francis 
the Sinner. He was with Charles v just before his death 
in 1558 ; and it was on his way to that solemn visit to 
San Yuste that he came to Avila and made acquaintance 
with the nun of the Encarnacion Convent, Teresa de 

The Inquisition was in full activity during Teresa's 
lifetime. The heretic, said the Church, is a venomous 
animal which must be exterminated before he vomits the 
poison of his impiety and spreads his contagion. That 
much was agreed. Heresy was pronounced a crime ; 
against the law of the land, like murder or theft. The 
question was, how to find the heretic. Nominally it was 
the bishop's duty. When the Holy Office was instituted 
to assist him in this difficult and dangerous business, he 
was not sorry to be superseded. The Inquisition worked 
on the system — a terrible one — of encouraging informers ; 
practically making everybody its agent, and binding all 
— under risk of temporal and spiritual punishment — in 
a league to maintain the purity of the faith. 

Yearly the Inquisition officers made visitations to the 
principal towns, and summoned all heretics to come for- 
ward and confess, all who knew of heretics to come for- 
ward and denounce. The visitation was conducted with 
solemn ceremonial. There were great processions, the 
Inquisition officers on horseback, the clergy marching 
with the Cross draped in black and surrounded by flaming 
torches. Great crowds assembled. The proclamation 
and the curse were read aloud. AU cried Amen. The 
clergy chanted the Miserere, the bells tolled. The 
torches were extinguished in Holy Water to the solemn 
words — 

SPANISH riTUucii in sixteenth century 39 

" As the lights die in the water, so shall the souls of 
heretics die in hell." 

As a rule the people were terrorized and came forward 
as required. When accusation was made, the accused 
was not allowed to know the name of his accuser ; and 
this provision of course afforded great opportunity to a 
man's enemies. The secrecy, the absolute isolation of the 
prisoner, and the delays before sentence was pronounced, 
were the most galling features of the system ; while the 
wholesale confiscations of property were unjust, a tempta- 
tion to covetous officials and the ruin of the country's credit. 

Nor did the results of condemnation end with the 
life of the heretic. It entailed frightful disabilities on 
his descendants for several generations. The statutes with 
regard to limpieza — cleanness of blood from Jewish or 
Mohammedan taint, or from descent from any one 
condemned by the Inquisition — are most extraordinary in 
their intolerance. A man who could not prove his limpieza 
was debarred from holding any public office or from enter- 
ing the priesthood ; he might not (after 1488) be a notary, 
a physician or even an apothecary. He was excluded 
from most of the religious Orders, might not take a degree 
in the principal universities (that of Alcala was an honour- 
able exception) nor of course hold any position in the 
Holy Office itself. Part of the routine of the Inquisition 
was examining into pedigrees ; and when the fatal mancha 
(blot) was revealed — brought into the family perhaps by 
some obscure and long forgotten ancestress — the unfor- 
tunate bearer of the stained name was relegated to the 
pariah class, and must infect any one he might marry and 
all his descendants. At the close of Philip's reign protests 
were made, and it was forbidden that investigation should 
go back more than a hundred years. But as a system of 
caste it was long before the importance of limpieza died 


out, and traces of it existed in Majorca even in the nine- 
teenth century. 

At first the acts of the Inquisition had been subject 
to revision by Rome. But the venaHty of the Papal 
Curia was no secret, and people used to buy pardons 
quite easily, sometimes even in advance. Isabella, Charles, 
and Philip, being determined on genuine reform, would 
not submit to this, and forced the Pope to recognize the 
independence of the Holy Office. Philip made it his right 
hand ; but was careful it should not be raised against him- 
self. In 1574 he refused to permit the founding of a new 
mihtary Order, " vSanta Maria of the White Sword," 
under the direct command of the Inquisitor-General. 

No respecter of persons was the Holy Office. It took 
proceedings against the highest dignitaries. A notable 
instance was the case of Carranza, the Archbishop of 
Toledo and Primate of all Spain. He had been in England 
with Philip and zealous against the Protestants there ; 
nevertheless was supposed to have caught the infection 
of heretical opinions. He was denounced, arrested, and 
spirited away to an Inquisition prison at Valladolid where 
he nearly died from lack of ventilation in his cell. He 
was detained for nine years ; then the Pope lost patience 
and insisted on his being sent for trial to Rome. But in 
Rome he languished in confinement for nine years more ; 
and when at last, mildly censured by Gregory xiii, he 
was set at liberty, he died in a month. Quiroga the 
Inquisitor-General succeeded him as Primate Archbishop ; 
he had Carranza's portrait placed with those of his pre- 
decessors and erected a tomb to his memory, which shows 
laudable anxiety to accept his justification and do him 

Saint Teresa and almost all the Spanish Mystics were 
attacked by the Inquisition. They were acquitted, but 

SPANISH CHURCH in sixteenth century 41 

tlic mere taking up of their cases proves the vigilance of 
the officers. 

In the sixteenth century the treatment of criminals 
was not good anywhere. The Inquisition prisons were in 
many respects better managed and less cruel than the 
civil prisons. Torture was not used only in Spain, nor only 
by the Holy Office. When the prisoners were ill, en- 
deavours were made to assist them. For example, the 
statistics about the birth of Ana de Torres's baby, show 
that the safety and comfort of herself and her child were 
matters of very considerable solicitude to her gaolers. 

It is commonly said that Protestantism stopped at the 
Alps and the Pyrenees. Nevertheless it had penetrated 
into both Spain and Italy. In the latter country one 
of its principal champions was a Spaniard, Juan de 

Luther died in 1546. " How wrong I was not to have 
killed him ! " sighed the weary emperor, recognizing 
his importance ; though at the Diet of Worms, twenty-five 
years earlier, he had said with contempt — 

" This is not the man to make a heretic of me ! " 

The Council of Trent began its sittings in 1545. At the 
Council the Spanish element largely predominated. Half 
the Spanish bishops attended with their chaplains. Many 
of the Italian prelates were Spaniards and so were five 
out of the seven theologians who represented the Pope. 
But Vargas, one of the Spanish delegates, wrote a pamphlet 
complaining of the Council, and saying that in the crowd 
of divines only twenty knew what they were saying. 
Vargas himself was afterwards accused of heresy. 

It was a time when men had taken courage to think 
and to express their opinions ; and all whose motto was 
Reform were allowed a hearing. Luther's was not the only 
heresy which started into hfe. Study of the Council's 


discussion on Justification shows that the orthodox and 
the unorthodox formulas, though widely different in 
principles and in tendencies, seem in words very much 
alike. It is easy to understand that many persons 
stumbled into heresy without intending it, and that many 
seemed to be heretics who were not. 

Valladolid and Seville were the centres of Spanish Protes- 
tantism. The number of its adherents was never large, but 
they were almost all persons of education and of position. 

Prominent at Valladolid was Augustin Cazalla, one 
of the emperor's favourite chaplains. He held secret 
meetings at his house (alluded to by Saint Teresa, writing 
a few years later), introduced the new doctrines in sermons, 
and obtained a considerable following including a number 
of monks and nuns. The growing sect was denounced 
to the Inquisition, and Cazalla with many others were 
thrown into prison. An auto de fe was celebrated on 
2ist May 1559. One person was burned alive ; fourteen, 
including Cazalla, his mother and brothers and sisters 
were strangled, and their bodies afterwards burned. A 
large number were reconciled, and condemned to con- 
fiscation and to public recantation. Another auto fol- 
lowed in October in the presence of Philip, when thirteen 
Lutherans — all persons of position — were executed and one 
Morisco. One of the victims, Carlos de Sesse, apparently 
by permission, preached as long as he could speak, and so 
inflamed the courage of Juan Sanchez (Cazalla's secretary) 
that he abandoned his intention of recantation and flung 
himself voluntarily into the flames. The greater number 
were not, however, burned alive, and many were reconciled. 
Two years later there was a third auto. This time there 
were only two Lutherans, the rest being Moriscoes, Con- 
versos, and " Blasphemers." After this, we hear of no 
more Protestantism in Valladolid. 

SPANISH CHURCH in sixteenth century 43 

At Seville the movement began earlier and ended later 
and its centre was in the very Cathedral Chapter. It 
commenced with the preaching of one Rodrigo de Valor, 
an Old Christian, who had been converted from an evil 
life by reading the Bible. " This," says the historian, 
" naturally inclined him to Protestantism." 

However, being considered crazy the Inquisition 
treated him leniently. He was condemned to wear a san 
hcnito ^ and to remain in a monastery where he died in 
1550. His preaching had caught the attention of Doctors 
Egidio and Constantino, the latter another of Charles's 
chaplains, and of the Canon Juan Gil. Gil made public 
recantation and was condemned to one year's imprison- 
ment. The Chief Inquisitor, Fernando de Valdes, was 
at this time Archbishop of Seville ; nevertheless the 
Chapter defended Gil, paid him his salary while in prison, 
and set up a monument to him after his death in 1556. 

It was discovered that a considerable sect had grown 
up, that heretical books were coming in from Holland, 
and that communication was kept up with some of the 
members who had escaped to England and there published 
Articles of their Faith. 

The Inquisition started into activity ; many leading 
citizens were apprehended, and made short work of in an 
auto dc fe, September 1559, in the Plaza San Francisco, now 
the peaceful, site of milkshops and foreign hotels. Forty or 
fifty were burned, five of them alive ; one lady died under 
torture. Egidio and Constantino, already dead, were burned 
in effigy ; and the house of Dofia Isabel de Baena, where 
the sect used to hold their meetings was razed to the ground. 
After which we read of no more Protestantism in Se\'ille. 

* San benito — A yellow go\^T3 marked u-ith a St. Andrew's Cross, the 
livery of those found guilty by the Inquisition. The unconcealable 
stigma was sometimes a great liindrance to the wearer in earning his 


The Spanish autos were few but effective. It was 
the opinion of the day that similarly prompt and drastic 
measures would have stamped out the infection of heresy 
in the northern countries also. This opinion was un- 
questionably a mistake. Protestantism grew strong in 
the north because more in accord with the genius of the 
people. But to say that the Enghsh conscience was 
revolted by the burnings and the Spanish conscience was 
not, is little to the point. The natural temper was different 
in the two peoples. In these matters it is dangerous for 
one nation to cast a stone at another. The tender-hearted 
Englishman to-day is shocked by cruelty to draught- 
animals which seems quite natural to a Neapolitan ; yet 
in England we still hang murderers, and in Italy capital 
punishment is considered a barbarism. 

And we should certainly hesitate before throwing stones 
at our forefathers. The writings of their day show how 
altogether different was their point of view. They lived 
under more difficult conditions than ours, and if they had 
not been rather hard-hearted might not have survived at all. 
If they were behind us in sanitation, cleanliness, and dislike 
of the red colour of blood, perhaps they were our superiors 
in patience, self-abnegation, and fortitude. Like every 
one else they could only do what seemed best to them at 
the time ; if their measures turned out ill — well ! it is easy 
to be wise after the event. 

Whether or no Spain's belief in the Church was a 
delusion, and her championship a folly — which pushed 
her into a backwater, all her ideals in the past, none in the 
future — is a further question upon which we need not 
enter now. The men of the sixteenth century thought 
they were doing God service ; nor can we think that He, 
who alone can reconcile opposites, did_ not accept the 
service aUke of those who opposed and of those who 

SPANISH CHURCH in sixteenth century 45 

defended an institution acknowledged by them all in 
the beginning to have been founded on everlasting 

For my own part, I can tolerate the intolerance and 
understand the burnings better than I can forgive the 
deliberate choice of obscurantism and scientific ignorance 
which is still recommended in certain pulpits, and which 
a few centuries ago seemed to the holiest people the only 
way to preserve spirituality and truth. We shall find it 
even in Saint Teresa. By learned she means only the 
theologically and ecclesiastically learned. Especially she 
detested too much profane learning in mnjercillas (little 
women). In this respect, she was not at all " modern." 

Well ! had she lived in the twentieth century instead 
of the sixteenth no doubt she would have been very 
different from what she was. But would she have been 
Saint Teresa ? I hope so ; for of all its distinguished 
women, perhaps those whom the world could spare among 
the least are its saints. 



TWO years before the birth of Teresa de Ahumada, 
the Convent of the Encarnacion (Incarnation) had 
been founded by Dona Elvira, Duchess of Medina 
Coeli. The building was spacious and dignified in aspect ; 
comfortable too, and in every respect suited to its purpose. 
There was a large garden ^ (huerta) and an excellent water 
supply. Teresa tells us- how pleasant her own cell was — 
divided into two parts, the outer, her bedroom and writing- 
room, sunny and very quiet ; the inner, an oratory with her 
pictures and images. 

The Encarnacion was the most important religious 
house at Avila ; but Teresa had chosen it for two reasons 
which would not have appealed to her later : first, her 
friend Juana de Suarez was there ; secondly, she fancied 
the Carmelite rule less severe than that of the Augustinians 
of Our Lady of Grace. 

It was told of the Encarnacion that a year or two after 
its foundation a zahuri ^ had come to the house, and 
with the eyes of a prophet had asked permission to 
search it. " For," said he, " I have learned in a vision 
that you have a great treasure here which is called Teresa." 

Teresa de Ahumada used to laugh over this legend 

^ Huerta — fruit and vegetable garden. 

2 Zahuri — person with second sight. 



with another nun named Teresa, and they would wonder 
which of the two was to prove the treasure. 

The origin of tlic Order of Our Lady of Carmcl is lost 
in " the hoar backward and abysm of time." Tradition 
refers it to Elijah the Tishbite, and the hundred men of 
the Lord's prophets whom he hid in a cave of Mount 
Carmcl. The community thus founded held together, so 
it is said, and flourished till the days of John the Baptist, 
the second Elias, and of the Virgin Mary, who took the 
hermits under her special protection. As the years and 
the centuries rolled on, the Order emerged from the twilight 
of tradition into the morning of history. Antonio of 
Egypt and Antonio Hilarion are more than legendary 
personages, " in those fortunate times when the deserts 
of Palestine were peopled with as many monks as the 
heavens are with stars." The hermits were scattered by 
the early Moslems ; but a few hid themselves and when 
the storm was past returned to Mount Carmel and again 
increased their numbers. In 1161 Saint Albert, Patriarch 
of Jerusalem, gave them a rule, " such in its spirit and 
its wisdom as was sufficient to lift up an edifice fallen 
almost to the ground." Then came the time of general 
laxity and deadness, " for there is naught so fixed that 
time doth not change it, nor so perfect that our wickedness 
doth not infect it, nor so profitable that our bad disposition 
doth not extract from it evil " ; and so the rule of Saint 
Albert was modified and changed by Popes Innocent iv 
and Eugenius iv to suit the capacities of a community 
which was no longer fervent. The Order had fallen on 
evil days and sank lower and lower, participating in the 
general irreligion. " But the Lord who never left His 
Church without witnesses to the truth, did not fail to 
raise up some few saints even in an institution so old and 
wearied as was'now waxen the Order of Our Lady of Mount 


Carmel ; old of a truth and worn out like Sarah ; yet 
like her to have good fruit and to see the birth of a child 
of promise." The child of promise proved to be the scarce 
noted daughter of Alonzo de Cepeda ; who had come 
weeping and half dismayed to the Convent of the Encar- 
nacion of Avila in the year 1533 ; and who lived there in 
quiet uneventful preparation till in 1562 she began the 
outside work with which her name is associated. 

Even so did her Master spend thirty quiet years of 
preparation, before He entered upon that great travail 
which changed the face of the world. Teresa, who in all 
things wished to follow Him, must have strengthened 
her patience remembering that He also had waited long 
before the call came to Him to begin His work. 

Teresa was eighteen when she entered on the religious 
life. In this Convent of the Mitigated Carmehte rule 
there was still opportunity for much self-mortification 
and her young enthusiasm took full advantage of it. She 
fasted, she wept and bewailed her sins ; she spent long 
hours in solitude, she undertook the most menial duties 
of the house, and swept the floors by choice at the very 
hours she had been used to devote to dress and amusement. 
She folded the veils of the nuns who sang better than she 
did in the choir, calling them angels who praised the Lord. 
She nursed a nun who was suffering from a repellant 
disease ; and, marvelling at the poor thing's patience, 
prayed that God would send to herself like profitable 
affliction ; " but first," she adds in her humorous way, 
" that He would give me strength to endure it ! " 

It is recorded that every one liked the girl, she was so 
cheerful and energetic, so modest and unselfish. Writing 
however, of this period from her standpoint of many years 
later, she blames herself for an overweening desire for 
praise, and for too great anxiety in small matters. 


She made her Profession in 1534 or 1535, — the date is 
uncertain, — " with great joy and peace of soul " ; nor had 
she any longer the counterbalancing distress of her father's 
annoyance, for he had now withdrawn all opposition and 
was able even to rejoice in his daughter's vocation. 

But her prayer for the suffering which was to teach 
her patience was answered more literally than she had 
anticipated. She had scarcely taken the vows when she 
fell very ill. Her complaint was not the same as that 
suffered by the nun she had nursed, " but," she says 
meekly, " I do not think it was less grievous." What 
this complaint was is perhaps a little clearer to us than 
it was to herself, and to her friends or physicians. From 
an earthly point of view it is plain that her mortifications 
and penance, her unwonted exaltation of spirit and almost 
painful concentration of mind, had induced what we 
should now call a serious nervous breakdown. Some of 
her symptoms are admitted, even by persons convinced 
of her inspiration, to point to hysteria — what is known 
as La grande hysterie ; hysteria being a vague and com- 
prehensive term under which the modern physician classes 
many strange and avowedly ill-understood phenomena, 
often if not always symptoms of disease. 

A great Russian writer has made the interesting remark 
that by health we mean no more than that a human being 
is in perfect harmony with his environment ; therefore 
a superior being, harmonized to a superior sphere would 
inevitably seem diseased in this lower one. Be this as 
it may, Teresa^ all_jd]Jou^_her-life^ especially perhaps 
in this early part of her spiritual career, paid for the 
Raptures of her souT~By great suffering and weakness of 
body. In 1535, long before her visions and ecstasies had 
begun, she was suffering from frequent faints, sickness, 
feebleness of heart, often attended by severe pain ; nervous 


complaints no doubt, but none the less real for that. 
Is not, however, the nervous temperament the tempera- 
ment of genius ? 

Under the Mitigated CarmeUte rule practised at the 
Encarnacion, the nuns were allowed frequent absences, 
and as much intercourse as they chose with friends and 
relations. Accordingly Alonzo de Cepeda took his daughter 
away from her convent to get her medical advice. She 
was put under a lady doctor of great repute who practised 
at Becedas, a few leagues from Avila. What were the 
qualifications and what the treatment of this lady prac- 
titioner does not appear. At any rate there was no attempt 
at " mind-cure," but something violent and so laborious 
that Teresa found it much more tr5dng than the discipline 
of the convent. She persevered for three months, growing 
daily worse ; then returned to her father's house at Avila, 
a perfect wreck. Now the men doctors were called in. 
They had the acuteness to perceive that the malady was 
" ethical " ; but pronounced it incurable, which was perhaps 
fortunate, as in those days the remedies were always apt 
to be worse than the disease. Teresa was not troubled 
with operations or drugs ; but she took to her bed and 
was given over to death. 

On the Day of the Assumption, she fell into convulsions, 
and after that into a catalepsy or trance which lasted four 
days. She lay speechless and motionless, the beat of her 
heart, the drawing of her breath, imperceptible. All this is 
said now to be highly characteristic of La grande hysteric ; 
but the doctors in attendance did not understand ; they 
declared she was dead and preparations were made for 
her funeral. Only Alonzo her father maintained she was 
still alive. He watched her for a day and a night, then 
unable to keep his eyes open longer went to rest leaving 
bis son Lorenzo in charge of the supposed corpse. Lorenzo 



was afterwards a great man ; but he was not at all a good 
nurse. He fell sound asleep, dropped his candle and set 
the patient's bed in a blaze. Not even this catastrophe 
wakened Teresa. It was now quite certain she was dead. 
Wax was laid on her eyes. Her grave was dug at the 
Encarnacion. Nuns came for her body. The prioress 
and the rest of the sisters waited to receive the 

Teresa, however, had revived. To the awe of her 
family, she sat up, she ate and drank, she spoke. She 
told them she had been in heaven and had seen the joys 
of the blessed ; in hell also, where a place was prepared for 
herself ; but she was to escape it and to live many years, 
and save the souls of her dear father and of her friend 
Juana Suarez and many others ; and to found convents, 
and at last to die a holy death, and be buried with honour, 
her body wrapped in a cloak of golden brocade. All of 
which in due time came to pass. 

Ribera, her biographer, was told all this by very trust- 
worthy persons, among them Baiies her confessor, and 
Juana her sister, wife of Juan de Ovalle, who said they 
had learned it from herself. But Teresa in her Auto- 
biography, though she describes her illness, makes no 
mention of these visions ; and in her later years she thought 
little of them, and said they were all " phrenetic nonsense " 
and was grieved that her wise and holy father should 
have heard of them. It was never Teresa's habit to 
chatter about her visions or revelations to outsiders. She 
has left minute descriptions of many of them ; written 
however solely for her spiritual directors at their command 
and in hope of their explanations. She does tell of a 
vision of hell and of the niche prepared there for herself ; 
but ascribes it to a time much later in her career. As for 
the honour and glory, the gold brocade and so forth — that 


was not the kind of thing to which she ever attached any 
importance ! 

Time went on and the invaUd grew little better. At 
Easter she wished to return to her convent, so they carried 
her thither in a sheet, for she was still paralysed and seemed 
more dead than alive. For eight months she lay helpless, 
then slowly began to get about again ; but for three years 
her state continued most precarious and she was quite 
unable for the fasts and other exercises which belonged 
to convent life. 

At last she made the discovery of a spiritual cure. A 
spiritual cure can be effected in many ways ; perhaps 
indeed the spiritual is the only cure, though it is sometimes 
disguised in doctors' drugs, or in the passes of the magne- 
tizer ; shall we say in the waters of Lourdes ? in the prayers 
of Bethshan ? 

Teresa found her cure in a devotion to Saint Joseph 
whose intercession she requested. Saint Joseph must, 
she thought, hold a peculiar position with her Lord, who 
at one time was subject to him on earth. It was strange 
that among the saints he seemed to have suffered neglect ! 
Teresa celebrated his Feast with great solemnity (" not 
unmixed," she tells us, " with vanity "), and adopted 
him openly for her patron. " Having experience of the 
great blessings he can obtain from God," she wished to 
persuade all to be his devotees. For many years on his 
Day, she asked him to bring about some definite thing and 
always she saw it accomplished. If her petition was 
awry, he so directed it that it should work out more truly 
for her good. ' ' How indeed can any one think on the Queen 
of Angels during the long years she spent with the Child 
Jesus in the home at Nazareth, and not feel Saint Joseph 
associated with them both — their protector, their counsellor, 
their defence, worthy of all honour from their lovers ? " 



All of which shows the simphcity of her faith ; and a 
strong imaginative power which made tlie things she 
hoheved in seem to her absolutely real and objective. At 
any rate she got well ; and Saint Joseph — or her ideal 
of him — was a power in her life from henceforth. All 
the convents she founded except five were dedicated to 
him and many of her spiritual children elected to take his 

But not Teresa herself ; no ! When the time came 
for dropping her worldly surname and adopting a religious 
one, she called herself Teresa of Jesus. Saint Joseph was 
her saint ; but there was no idol-making in her devotion 
to him. He was for her a stepping-stone to help her to 
One greater than he. 

During these years of illness, Teresa's experiences had 
not been solely of suffering. Before consulting the wise 
woman of Becedas, she had paid another visit to the uncle 
at Hortigosa whose influence had sent her to the cloister. 
This time he led her a little further along the path of 
mysticism. He gave her a book called the Tercer Abece- 
dario (the third Alphabet), written by a Franciscan named 
Osuna. Studying it, she became convinced of a lack of 
spirituality in her own religion. As yet she had been 
aiming at pious observance ; what she needed was a state 
of the soul. For from a right state of the soul pious 
observance will spring as good fruit springs from a good 
tree. To he rather than to do became now Teresa's aim ; 
in a word she turned deliberately to the contemplative, 
as distinguished from the active life. 

The contemplative life is best perhaps described in the 
words of Saint Paul : — " With open face " {i.e. directly) 
"beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed 
into the same image from glory to glory, as by the spirit 
of the Lord." From Osuna's book Teresa learned that 


the way to behold directly the glory of the Lord, and thus 
to be changed into His image, was by Prayer {oracion, 
prayer in its widest sense — not mere asking) ; Mental 
Prayer, the Prayer of Recollection (recogimiento), a " gather- 
ing up " of the spirit into a single purpose, a single con- 
sciousness, a pure, unmixed, undistracted contemplation of 
the divine, a deliberate and definite attempt to enter into 
direct communion with God. 

Teresa — like most of us — had had no idea how to enter 
upon this Prayer of Recollection ; but the book instructed 
her, and she gave herself up to it, gradually advancing 
from the Prayer of Recollection to other definite stages 
of mysticism ; whither indeed the ordinary person cannot 
follow her, though these stages are well understood, and 
easily and consistently classified by mystics of every creed. 
Teresa became later a great exponent of them, but at 
this time (1535) she was a beginner ; when she found 
herself sometimes — not frequently — lifted into those mystic 
states which afterwards she knew as] "Ecstasy" and 
" Union," she did not, she says, understand what had 
happened to her, nor the great value she should have set 
upon these favours. 

Among the relics of the Convent of San Josef in Avila, 
this precious copy of Osuna's Ahecedario is reverentially 
preserved. I have held it in my hand, have turned the 
yellowed pages, and have seen the underlinings and the 
pencil notes put there by the saintly woman, who had 
found the little treatise her guide to the Pathway of 

It was Teresa's achievement to learn that neither the 
active nor the contemplative life is complete by itself ; 
faint perception of this truth came to her thus early in her 
spiritual life while she was still groping to find her way. 
Instinctively she perceived that habits of solitude and of 


meditation and of prayer must not destroy all interest 
in fellow-souls. At Becedas she became acquainted with 
a secular priest ; a man not young ; intelligent, learned, 
like herself fond of books and fond of conversation. She 
made him her confessor and great sympathy, even affection, 
sprang up between them. The young nun's natural 
purity, her zeal in the service of God which she evidently 
expected him to share, filled this man with compunction, 
and presently he confessed to her that for seven years he 
had been living in mortal sin, indeed that his life with a 
mistress was an open scandal, in consequence of which he 
was reprobated and shunned by all. Such conduct on 
the part of a priest was common enough in pre-Reformation 
days ; probably in no country but Spain would much 
notice have been taken of it. Teresa was shocked, and 
greatly distressed. She inquired into the matter further ; 
woman-like, she decided that the man was less guilty 
than his paramour who had bewitched him ; — not, she 
says, that she believed in literal enchantments, but saw 
through the woman's tactics easily enough. However 
she confiscated a so-called charm given by the mistress 
to her lover, and thus helped the man to get free from his 
chains. He reformed, and led a chastened life till his death 
a year or two later. What became of the woman ? History 
or Teresa does not say. She was a woman of no import- 
ance, even to a saint. 

The long absence from her convent, and after her return 
the relaxations naturally granted to one in her state of 
health, seem for a time to have diverted Teresa from the 
exclusively spiritual life which was her essential desire. 
The Encarnacion nuns mixed freely with the world, and 
Teresa with her lively disposition and gift for conversation, 
had many friends. According to her own account, society 
was her snare ; she wasted her time, distracted her thoughts. 


neglected her duties. The Mental Prayer, which she had 
practised with so much enthusiasm, became, she says, 
tedious to her ; presently she gave it up, persuading 
herself that in her present frame of mind it was irreverence. 
Possibly those about her noticed little change in her 
behaviour ; but she herself was very conscious of failure. 

It was an experience not without value to her soul, 
which helped to prepare her for her future work and brought 
her within sympathy of the weaker ones. Of all the saints, 
Teresa appears least of an abstraction ; she was no being 
of ice and snow, living far away from us on a mountain 
top eternally bathed in the rare pure air of heaven. She 
was very human, of like passions with ourselves ; at this 
time a high-spirited girl, fond of chatter and amusement, 
to whom prayer at times seemed tedious and her chosen 
cloister a dull cold place ! 

The period of declension did not last long ; she deplored 
it deeply though she was too clear-sighted not to recognize 
that, in her own language, it was over-ruled for good. For 
one thing it taught her the impossibility of serving two 
masters ; she recognized that a woman vowed to the 
religious life can best keep her vow, and attain that object 
for which convents are founded, by absolute separation 
from the world. Not that under the relaxed rule of the 
Encarnacion, it was impossible to be a saint ; her own 
subsequent career showed that. But she felt she could 
have done better under a different system, and that many 
a feeble though aspiring soul, struggling against worldliness 
unaided and almost alone, must have despaired and been 
defeated. When she established her own convents she 
enforced the rule of Enclosure, not with any idea of per- 
secuting the nuns, but simply that they might be in the 
most favourable circumstances for single-eyed devotion 
and pursuit of their ideal. 


Teresa was not herself one of the weak ones. Her 
conscience pricked her sharply. She hesitated to confess 
to her father Alonzo that she had given up her Mental 
Prayer, for, under her influence, he also had been practising 
this holy exercise. When he questioned her she said her 
health would not allow her the necessary exaltation of 
soul, the long hours of bodily discomfort. Alonzo, a man, 
she says, who never hed, and was accustomed to truth 
from herself, accepted the excuse without demur ; and 
now she had the additional burden on her conscience of 
knowing she had deceived him. 

She received several warnings, apparently supernatural, 
but refused to take alarm. The story of the toad which 
came towards her in the convent gardens where she was 
merrymaking with a worldly friend, seems childish to us ; 
and indeed her own common sense refused to be terrified 
by the harmless creature, which since the days of the 
Cabbala had been regarded as " a sponge for the absorption 
of every evil." But the vision which appeared to her a 
little later was not puerile. One day talking and laughing 
with her accustomed heedless gaiety she was suddenly 
startled into silence. For she saw the appearance of the 
Lord Christ standing by her side, grave and stern. She 
saw Him, she says, not indeed with the eyes of her body, 
for never did she see vision with the eyes of the body, but 
always with . the eyes of the soul ; many of us who have 
never dignified such perceptions with the name of visions 
will understand precisely what she meant. She was 
startled, for the impression was most vivid. But it faded ; 
and presently she told herself it was all fancy ; and she 
turned to her amusing companion and laughed on. 

I have myself sat in that parlour of the Encarnacion 
Convent, unchanged since Teresa's day, save that now the 
nuns do not themselves enter it but talk to their visitors 


from behind two large wooden grilles. It is a spacious, 
pleasant room, with white walls, raftered ceilings, and 
wide windows through which the sun streams in, making 
even Avila bright. In fancy I see it full of the cavaliers 
and ladies of the city in their rich clothing, the men with 
their swords, the ladies in velvet and lace, children at their 
feet dressed exactly like their elders ; all of them the 
" worldly holy " who take a deep interest in church and 
religious affairs and have come nominally, perhaps sincerely, 
to talk of holy things, yet quickly have relapsed into gossip, 
and merry argument and carcajadas (bursts of laughter). 
Among them I see the nuns in their brown habits, the 
black veils thrown back, some who have been out visiting 
their homes still wearing their white cloaks. And of the 
nuns, the favourite is Teresa, the daughter of grave Alonzo 
de Cepeda who is the most constant of the visitors ; Teresa 
with her bright dark eyes, and cheeks, naturally round and 
fresh-coloured, now somewhat drawn by long ill-health ; 
Teresa, whose wit is the delight of all, who is so interesting 
in her talk, so persuasive, and so courteous with the courtesy 
not merely of the well-bred woman, but of a warm heart 
at once sensitive and kind. Young and old, men and 
women they gather round her ; and some of them tell her 
with a sigh and a shrug that it is a thousand pities she has 
left the world in which she would have shone so bright. And 
the words make her ashamed and recall her for a moment 
to herself ; but there is a subtle flattery in them that she 
cannot wholly resist ; and after a minute she is sparkling 
more gaily than before, and the pleasure and the excite- 
ment of the moment have no connection with the life of 
the Cross, and the renunciation which she has accepted 
as her portion. 

But soon Teresa reached the turning-point. Her father 
fell ill and she left her convent to nurse him. He died. 


and in the grief of her bereavement — for he had been 
very dear to her — her " heart again became soft for the 
reception of the good seed which the heavenly sower was 
not backward to restore to her." She turned to Alonzo's 
confessor, Fray Vicente Varron, a Dominican, and told him 
of her backsliding and remorse. He gave her advice. She 
must resume her prayer ; she must come more regularly and 
more frequently to the Holy Communion. The penitent 
obeyed ; and gradually felt the benefit of his counsel. 

Though Teresa makes the remarkable statement that 
for twenty years she continued in a state of tepidness, with 
love of the world still in her heart, not yet initiated into 
the deeper mysteries of communion with God, — it is plain 
that she had really made her decision for the rest of her 
life, and that the years which followed — slowly, monoton- 
ously, marked by few outward events — were really years 
of growth in which her soul made slow but unfaltering 
progress in spirituality. She had her dull seasons — what 
she calls dryness. She still associated with her worldly 
friends ; she suffered from a divided mind, and often no 
doubt ^from great depression. She was not immune from 
the faults of humanity. To the end of her days she blames 
herself with what seems exaggerated severity, for idleness, 
vanity, self-indulgence, lack of charity to her neighbours, 
lack of love for God. But after this one season of slack- 
ness, we may safely say that she never again left her path, 
though she may have stumbled or even fallen on the way. 
She made mistakes ; sometimes was misled by her affections, 
or her inclinations, sometimes was infected by the tortuous 
intriguing ways of the time. But to those who knew her 
well, the men and women of her own day, who shared her 
faults and fell short of her virtues, to them she seemed 
genuinely and increasingly holy, a burning and a shining 
light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. 


Like so many saints — not all of one church — Teresa 
points to a special psychological moment which proved 
a crisis in her inner history. One day in 1555 — twenty 
years after she had first studied the Abecedario — on her 
way to the Oratory her eye fell upon an image of the 
wounded Christ (one of those coloured wooden figures 
which are so characteristic of Spain) carried there for use 
at some festival. Suddenly scales seemed to fall from 
her eyes. As never before she realized the sufferings her 
Saviour had endured for her. Pierced to the heart she 
cast herself on her knees, weeping in an agony of gratitude 
and compunction, praying that God would give her strength 
never more — never more to offend Him. 

It was an impression that did not pass away. It 
ended the period of lukewarmness and was the beginning 
of a new life, of burning fervour and devotion. She was 
transfigured. She had entered into the joy of her Lord, 
into the mystic kingdom of heaven which is the vestibule 
of the Paradise of God.^ 

^ I have followed generally the chronology of D. Vicente de la Fuente. 
It has been accused of being imaginary, but appears to be based upon 
minute and laborious study of Teresa's own remarks in her different 
writings, compared with the sequence of events in the biographies of 
some of her friends, — Baltasar Alvarez for example. It is true 
that Teresa says she is often herself very uncertain about dates, and she 
does not attempt to keep at all closely to chronological order. 




THE year 1555 therefore is the beginning of Saint 
Teresa's Vita Nuova. The long years of prepara- 
tion are ended, the time of fruition has come. Had 
she died that year at the age of forty, we should never have 
heard of her. The great experiences of her soul, the great 
actions of her life, all came afterwards — when she was a 
middle-aged, an elderly, an old woman. It is impossible 
to beUeve that the two, the inner experience and the out- 
ward activity, were not connected ; that her career was 
not a living witness to the truth she had long ago dimly 
apprehended, that the tree must be changed if it is to 
produce a changed fruit, that the true study and aim 
of a saint is to be rather than to do. 

By this time (1555) it is undeniable that Teresa had 
arrived at a spiritual state of great sanctity. She burned 
with love to God, with desire to know and to perform His 
will. Her mind was concentrated on this. She saw 
everything else in relation to this. God had become 
intensely real to her, more real than the people about her. 
She felt her whole soul in its minutest part open to Him. 
She felt Him very near her. It seemed as though the veil 
were growing ever thinner which prevented her from 
actually beholding Him ; like Stephen, who filled with the 
Holy Ghost, looked steadfastly into heaven and saw the 
glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. 



Day and night she pondered on these things. What — 
where — was this heaven in which God was ? The answer 
came to her, as it has come to other mystics : " The 
kingdom of heaven is within." 

At this time Teresa was still in poor health and even 
rejoiced at it, thinking it an offering to God less liable to be 
tainted with pride than voluntary pain. Her weakness was 
increased by much fasting, penance and general asceticism. 
She no longer thought herself unable for these exercises : 
they were now her delight, not only as discipline but as a 
way of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. She says her 
health improved under this self-torment. So perhaps 
it did, as health does improve when we cease to attach 
immense importance to it. But she was left in that hyper- 
sensitive spiritual state, which has been, I think, necessary 
for all ecstatics, whether their experiences are to be con- 
sidered objective or not. That Saint Paul kept his body 
under may not have been the cause but it was certainly 
the condition of his being caught up to the third heaven ; 
and Christianity, before it had assimilated certain minor 
excellences of paganism which came back with the Renais- 
sance, made no question at all that the soul was superior 
to the body and must be nourished at the latter's expense. 

Teresa then, weak with illness, worn with privation, her 
heart on fire with love to God, her mind concentrated on 
Him, began to find her acts of prayer (oracion) bringing 
her with added frequency into what she considered a 
supernatural state ; in which, though fully conscious, she 
suffered some strange suspension of her ordinary faculties ; 
and received, as she believed, direct revelations from God ; — 
the sense of His presence becoming, as she says, so strong 
that in nowise could she doubt of it, nor that she was alto- 
gether engulfed in Him. 

Most real was this experience to her ; but with all her 


gift for language she was never able adequately to explain 
it, except indeed to those persons who have gone through 
it themselves. She analyzes minutely, and distinguishes 
between the different stages of prayer. Beginning with 
deliberate and systematic Meditation, it passes involuntarily 
and by degrees into the condition of Ecstasy and Rapture ; 
the earliest stage of which, called the Prayer of Quiet, is 
accompanied by great peace and joy, and is not very 
uncommon among the religious of all sects who expect 
and welcome it. But Teresa passed beyond this Prayer 
of Quiet, through other definite stages to the deeper and 
stranger rapture called the Prayer of Union. She became 
alarmed ; and from her holy joy sank into hesitation and 
anguish, probably the most acute suffering of her whole life. 

For the distressing question which had vaguely crossed 
her mind on an earher and fleeting occasion, now presented 
itself seriously, first to herself and then to others : — Were 
these seemingly supernatural experiences really the gift 
of God ? or were they the result of her own overheated 
imagination ? or, worse still, were they not most likely 
the work of the devil ? 

At that time in Spain, there was great fear of religious 
imposture. A Franciscan nun of Cordova, Madalena de la 
Cruz, after posing as a prophetess and miracle-worker for 
more than twenty years, had spontaneously confessed 
herself a deceiver ; and had caused great scandal, for kings 
and even popes had consulted her and asked her blessing. 
A Lisbon nun also was proved a fraud after she had im- 
posed upon even the wise Fray Luis of Granada. Sober 
persons, then as now, were much afraid of confusing the 
natural and the supernatural. They also believed in the 
personality and the power of Satan with a fervour unknown 
to us twentieth-century sceptics, There was instinctive 
dread of apparent wonders, and the ordinary confessor 


greatly preferred that his penitents should walk in the 
ordinary paths of reason and routine. 

Teresa in her alarm, laid her case before various persons 
whom she had been accustomed to regard as her spiritual 
guides. One was Don Francisco de Salcedo, a layman, 
known as El cahallero Santo (the Holy Gentleman), who 
had great repute for sanctity and wisdom, and was it seems 
the religious director of many persons. Don Francisco 
felt this case beyond him, and put Teresa in communication 
with Maestro Caspar Daza, a professed theologian. After 
a time she consulted also the Jesuit Fathers who had lately 
opened a college in Avila. Foremost among these was the 
celebrated Baltasar Alvarez, who was considered a great 
authority on Prayer, though his own practices were after- 
wards called in question by the Inquisition. 

One and all, these physicians for the soul decided against 
Teresa's inspiration. She was not a deliberate impostor, 
that much they admitted ; but she must be either mad, or 
fallen into the power of the devil. 

The judgment was painful ; so were the remedies 
prescribed for her recovery. It was also painful that her 
counsellors discussed her case with other people ; very 
soon it was noised through all Avila — which as we know 
took extraordinary interest in religious affairs — that there 
was a possessed nun at the Encarnacion. People became 
afraid to meet her ; even Maestro Daza refused to receive 
her confession. She bore the contumely meekly ; indeed 
it was nothing to the agonies of doubt she was suffering 
in her soul. For now it was not only a question of gentle 
ecstasy or of more violent rapture ; not only a sense of 
God's nearness to her soul, a mystical communion in which 
He taught her, she knew not how. Now she had begun 
to have frequent visions of the Lord Himself ; she had 
begun to hear His voice. Not with her bodily ears or eyes ; 



never ; on this point she is emphatic ; but with " the ears 
of her soul," she heard Him speak ; in bodily form she saw 
Him with the " eyes of her soul." This was called by the 
learned Imaginary Vision, and was said to be very easily 
counterfeited by Satan. Nothing could have seemed more 
sus}:)icious to the fathers-in-God who were sitting in 
judgment upon her. 

But on Teresa herself, the impression made by the 
voices and the visions grew daily stronger ; and she could 
not believe that her directors were right in their opinion. 
Horrible as it was to fear she might be mistaking darkness 
for light, it were much more horrible, much more like the 
sin against the Holy Ghost, to mistake light for darkness, 
to insult and despise the very God Himself who was showing 
her such surpassing favour. Maestro Daza bade her 
when she saw the vision of Christ perform the act of 
exorcism proper if it were the devil. She obeyed ; but 
it nearly broke her heart. 

In minor degree Don Francisco worried her by constant 
comparisons with an exemplary hermit nun named Marta 

" You," he said, " are far less holy than Marta ; why 
should God give you what He reserves for the greatest 
saints ? It is impossible that the marvels are of God, 
when Marta has nothing of the sort ! " 

Ah yes ! it was what Teresa felt herself ; she was only 
a mujercilla, a poor little woman, a sinner ; it were pre- 
sumption to imagine for a moment that the thing was 
true. But when next the vision of Jesus flashed before 
the eye of her soul, her doubts disappeared and she knew — 
she knew it was the Lord ! 

However as time went on the anguish passed. 

She became fully convinced in her own mind 
that she was really in the hands of God ; and beside 


this conviction the opinion of men was of secondary 

By degrees her friends also changed their opinion. 
Baltasar Alvarez, the Jesuit, who had been prescribing in 
the approved fashion for hysteria, consoled her by saying 
that at any rate the visions could not be sin. One day he 
had a vision himself, and after that talked much less glibly 
about delusions. And presently Teresa had a new experi- 
ence ; what is known as an Intellectual Vision, in which 
nothing is seen even with the eye of the soul ; though the 
sense of God's presence is more intense, more lasting, more 
efficacious than in any case of Imaginary Vision. Intel- 
lectual Vision is said by theologians to be the least open 
to Satanic counterfeit ; and when Teresa, who did not 
know of these distinctions, described the new experience, her 
confessor began to think he and his fellows had been wrong. 

Then Father Francis the Sinner — the great Saint Francis 
Borgia, high in office under Laynez, the second General of 
the Jesuits — came to Avila to visit the new college of the 
Company. Teresa'scasewas laid before him. He had several 
long interviews with her ; and to her joy he understood, he 
sympathized, he approved. Francis was the first person 
who had not bidden her resist the supernatural influence. 
When he pronounced, reverentially and without hesitation, 
his belief that the wonders were divine, she was, she says, 
" greatly comforted, and so was her friend the Caballero 
Santo," who probably had condemned her against his in- 
clination. Then came another saint, Peter of Alcantara, 
who was the most celebrated ascetic of his age. Teresa 
was introduced to him by her lay friend. Dona Guiomar de 
Ulloa ; and he also after prolonged and careful study of 
the phenomena pronounced in her favour. His principal 
reason was the increasing beauty of the suffering woman's 
life ; her humility and obedience, her charity, truthfulness. 


and other virtues, seemed to him clear proof that she was 
under divine guidance. The document in which Saint Peter 
expressed his opinion lias survived, and is an interesting 
example of tlie approved manner of " trying the spirits." 

At last all doubt, all suspicion died away. Teresa's 
visions and ecstasies, at first a stumbling-block, became, after 
the custom of miracles, accepted as proof of her sanctity. 

The minute and circumstantial account of her visions 
and ecstasies which Teresa wrote for her spiritual directors 
was not intended for the world. It was a great annoyance 
to her when the " Book of her Life " fell into the hands of 
the Princess of Eboli, who betrayed the confidence reposed 
in her and showed this most intimate document to un- 
suitable people. The writings have come down to us ; 
and though we may be little more suitable than the princess, 
we can read them now, word for word as Teresa wrote. 

No more curious description of strange experiences has 
ever been penned, for not Swedenborg or Blake wrote 
with her literary vividness, her simplicity, her air of, so 
to speak, matter of fact. Some things she records took 
place a few years before she wrote ; others were con- 
temporary. The visions, the locutions, the ecstasies, 
continued at intervals gradually rarer till quite late in her 
life, though she had become so used to them that they 
hardly agitated her, and she only alludes to them in- 
directly. Teresa believed the manifestations objective 
and supernatural, and she wrote in perfect good faith ; 
yet there is a curious scepticism in her too and she was 
never blind to the possibility of delusion. She never acted 
on or spoke of the supernatural message till it had been 
confirmed by the independent judgment of her directors. 
The physical symptoms of the ecstasies, especially when 
they took place in public, were a real distress to her, and 


she used to pray that if it were His will the Lord would 
lead her by another path. She was also sceptical with 
regard to visions on the part of her nuns, and would 
prescribe for the subjects of them food, rest, society, 
occupation, just as this common-sense treatment had 
been prescribed for herself by Baltasar Alvarez. 

But when the phenomena persisted, as in her own case 
they did persist, and when they did the soul not harm but 
good, what could she think but that they were genuine ? 
Let us describe a few of her more important experiences ; 
types of the rest. First let me remark that to call her, as 
some have done, a " love-sick nun," or to suppose that 
the visions were amatory is quite a mistake. Sometimes 
though rarely, in her mystical writings and her descrip- 
tions she uses erotic language. She speaks of " divine 
betrothal," " divine marriage " (a time-honoured figure for 
the condition of a nun) and so forth ; but is careful to 
explain that such language is purely symbolic, and only 
a httle less inadequate than other figures. Ahke those 
who have praised her and those who have condemned, 
have too often forgotten the distinction, of which she was 
fully aware, between the metaphorical and the real. 

Her first ecstasy was in 1556. She heard a Voice saying 
to her — 

" I would have thy conversation not with men but 
with angels." 

It was not the first time she had heard the Voice ; but 
the great disturbance of mind and body was something 
new. She was consoled but terrified. The terror passed 
away, and the consolation remained. This locution was 
the cause of her entirely breaking off the worldly friend- 
ships, which she had found her snare. 

These voices she says, were not discerned by the bodily 
ears ; yet they sounded to her soul clearer than ever 


was voice heard by the outward ears. Ineluctably heard 
they were ; for the ears of the soul cannot be stopped 
like the ears of the body. Nor can they be supposed 
something imagined ; for though an imagination might be 
mistaken for the Other Voice, yet the Other Voice when it 
comes is altogether different, and brings with it a majesty 
that is its own credential, a compelling power which leaves 
the soul holier and stronger. 

In the early days of her persecution when all seemed 
distrustful, her own confidence grew, for she heard the 
Voice, saying, 

" Fear not, daughter, it is I, and I will not desert thee. 
Be not afraid." 

She gives a minute description of that Intellectual 
Vision which gained her some credit with her superiors. 

" The day of the glorious Saint Peter, being at prayer, 
I saw or rather felt, for I saw nothing, whether with the 
eyes of the body or yet with the eyes of the soul ; — but it 
appeared to me that Christ was by my side, and I knew it 
was He who used to speak with me. I was quite ignorant 
there could be this sort of vision and at first feared and 
could only weep ; but when He spoke one word to reassure 
me, I became as I was wont quite tranquil and full of joy. 
It seemed to me that Jesus Christ stepped always at my 
side ; and as it was not an Imaginary Vision I could not 
tell in what form ; but I felt most clearly that He was 
always there at my right side, and was witness of all I was 
doing ; and whenever my soul was at leisure, I perceived 
His presence. When my confessor asked me how I knew 
it was Christ, I could only say I was unable to tell how it 
was, but that I could not but feel it, and that it was a 
most clear thing to me." 

She herself set great value on the Imaginary Vision. 

" Once, on Saint Paul's day, being at Mass, there was 


represented to me the whole of the most sacred Son of 
Man as He was raised from the dead, with great beauty 
and majesty. Truly, if there were in heaven nothing more 
to delight the eyes than the great beauty of the glorified 
bodies, I say it would be great glory ; and especially to 
see the glorified humanity of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
If here where He shows Himself in such measure as our 
wretchedness can endure. He is such as I saw, — what 
must He be there where one can enjoy to the full ! " 

And she adds with her usual emphasis : " This vision, 
never did I see it, nor any vision, with the eyes of 
my body, but only with the eyes of my soul " ; and 
again with that touch of humour which never deserts her, 
" though such Imaginary Vision be much nobler and 
more perfect than a vision with the corporeal eyes, yet 
I could not help wishing that I were seeing it with my 
corporeal eyes, that my confessor might not tell me it was 
all a sickly fancy ! " 

She nearly always saw the Lord in this form — with His 
glorified body ; but sometimes to strengthen her if she 
was in tribulation. He showed her His wounds ; and 
sometimes — but seldom — He appeared as He was at 
Gethsemane, or on the Cross and with the crown of thorns ; 
but always with the carne glorificada (the glorified flesh). 
And once, though wounded as by the thorns yet He wore 
them not, but a shining crown of great splendour. And 
one day at the Communion before she had received the 
Bread, she saw the Holy Dove floating over it, and heard 
the sound of the hovering wings. 

Once, " long after these great favours had been given 
her," she had a vision of hell ;^ and she understood that 
the Lord wished her to see the place which the devils had 
ready for her, and which she merited for her sins. The 

^ Clearly, then, not at the time of her four days' trance in 1537. 


vision lasted but a brief space, yet were she to live for 
untold years it would be impossible for her to forget it. 
She found herself there without knowing how. The 
entry was narrow and long, like the opening of a vaulted 
oven, very low and dark and strait. The floor was as a 
pestilential marsh, with noxious reptiles infesting it. At 
the end was a niche in a wall which opened of itself ; and 
therein she saw herself laid in great narrowness. And all 
that she saw in that place was as it were delightsome in 
comparison with the torture which she felt within ; the 
fire in her soul, the famine, the suffocation, the soul rending 
itself asunder, the spiritual burning, not to be described 
or imagined. That time she saw no more of hell, but 
only this her own place in it. But later she had 
another vision of things most terrible, and of the devils, 
and of the punishments of vice. And it was a great 
favour of the Lord to show her these things, that she 
might know from what she had been delivered, and 
might lose all fear of the tribulations and the contradic- 
tions of this life ; for Co be even burned alive at the 
stake, what is it when one thinks of that fire of the soul 
there ? 

It is an interesting question whether Teresa had ever 
read the Divina Commedia, which in a translation was 
well known in Spain. Much of her thought, sometimes 
her very language, is similar. But no ; I do not think she 
had read it. Her idea of the Inferno is too unlike the 

Then we have the curious glorifying of her cross ; a 
parallel reference being related of Saint Catharine of Siena. 
" One day holding the cross of my rosary in my hand, 
the Lord took it from me, and when it was returned it 
had four large stones much more exquisite than diamonds, 
beyond all comparison with aught of earth. And He said 


to me that ever afterwards I should see it thus. And so 
it has happened. For I no longer see the wood of which 
it is made, but only those four stones. Yet no one else 
sees it thus, but only I," she adds naively, aware I think 
that this description is not to be received quite literally. 

Nor must we pass over that one of her visions which 
becoming known to the world was counted the most 
marvellous, and earned for her the name of Teresa of the 
Transverberated Heart. Let us have it in her own words. 
" Advancing towards my left side, I saw an angel in 
corporeal form, which was rare with me ; for though often I 
have had perceptions of angels it has been without seeing 
them. He was small of stature, beautiful exceedingly, his 
countenance a burning flame. He must have been one of 
the highest angels, who as we know burn continually — 
one of the cherubim " (Teresa's editors, better instructed 
in angels, have altered this to seraphim). " In his hand 
was a spear of gold, at its point a little flame. It seemed 
to me that with this he thrust through my heart, not once 
but many times, and it pierced to my very innermost. 
It left me all on fire with great love to God. So great 
was the pain that I cried aloud; but great was the sweetness 
even of this pain, so that I would not lose it. It is no 
corporeal pain, but spiritual, though even the body par- 
ticipates in it. It is a rare token from God to my soul ; 
so sweet that I pray Him of His love to bestow the like 
on whomsoever thinks I deceive in telling of it. During 
the days this pain lasted, I went as if stupefied, wishing 
neither to see nor to speak ; but as it were embraced in 
my suffering — which for me was a greater glory than any 
there could be in all the world." 

" No corporeal pain, but spiritual," she says ; not 
perhaps having a much more definite idea than some of 
us moderns as to what is exactly meant by spiritual. 


Wluit I do nol think she meant was that this angel was a 
soUd being, extended in space, bearing a soHd spear of 
real gold, which she might have taken in her hand, which 
was capable of piercing her material heart and wounding 
it so as to cause a corporeal pain ; — or rather, one would 
suppose, to cause her death. For whether or no the heart 
is the seat of the affections and of one's love to God, it is 
certainly that one of the physical organs most essential 
to physical life. 

Teresa died at Alba de Tormes and her poor body 
suffered at the hands of her friends many mutilations 
which now we should consider dishonouring to the 
majesty of death. Her heart was torn from her side, 
and is preserved in the Carmelite Church of Alba in 
a glass reliquary, as the most precious, the most revered 
of all the rehcs. I have seen it ; and I can vouch for the 
fact that there is — not a scar, but a deep clean cut through 
it which looks as if made with a knife, which does not 
look to me (who am no expert and may very easily be 
wrong) as if it had been made while that heart was beating 
in the breast of a living woman. This cut, not mentioned 
by Ribera, or Yepes, or the chronicler, has been identified 
with the spiritual wound which she believed she had 
received from a spiritual being. I think — I feel certain — 
it is a misconception.^ One of Teresa's artless hymns 
refers to this transverberation : — 

En las internas entraiias Within my inmost vitals I 

Senti un golpe repentino : Bysuddenstrokedidfeelmesmit; 

El blason era divino The blazon was divine, for it 

Porque obro grandes hazanas. Performed deeds most great 

and high. 

^ The really strange thing about this poor heart is that thorns have 
grown up around it which are continually increasing and growing. There 
are now fifteen ; in appearance something Uke miniature wreaths of 
bramble. A description and picture can be found in Monsieur Hye 
Hoys' interesting L'Espagne Theresienne on Pelerinage d'un Flamand. 


Con el golpe fui herida, The stroke did wound me ; 

yet although 

Y aunque la herida es mortal. The wound was sore e'en 

causing death, 

Y es un dolor sin igual, And though it's pain no equal 

Es muerte que causa vida. A death 'tis which doth hfe 


Si mata i como da vida ? But if it slay how gives it life ? 

Y si vida i como muere ? If it be Hfe, how shall I die ? 

I Como sana, cuando hiere. How cures it ? so that all 


Y se ve con el unida ? It healeth, though so sharp a 

knife ? 

Tiene tan divinas mafias Art so divine doth it inform 

Que en tan acerbo trance That in such strait and cruel 

Sale triunfando del lance It comes triumphant from the 

Obrando grandes hazanas. And deeds most wondrous doth 


More sublime than any of these occasions was that 
time when in Intellectual Vision, Teresa became conscious 
of the presence of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. 
The idea of the Trinity had been a difficulty to her ; now 
words were revealed to her soul, which told her she erred 
in imagining spiritual things with the representation of 
material things. Nay ! she must understand they were 
very different ; and yet that the soul was capable of 
receiving of them much. Then she thought of herself 
under the similitude of a sponge which drinks and incor- 
porates the water ; and it seemed as if her whole soul 
were enlarging even to receive that Divinity ; and that 
it was absorbing, and holding in itself, the three Persons 
of the Holy Trinity. But the Voice came again and 
said — 

" Think not thou shalt hold Me enclosed in thee ; 
seek rather that thou shalt be enclosed in Me." 

And then it seemed as if she saw that the Three Persons 
were in communion with all creation ; not failing to any- 


thing ; not failing to be with even her. And a few days 
later, remembering the majesty of this vision and thinking 
that pcrliaps all active work should be abandoned and she 
should spend her whole time in worship, she again heard 
that rebuking Voice ; and it said, 

"Whilst thou art in the world, thy part is not to seek 
for enjoyment of Me ; but to seek that thou mayst do 
My will." 

This I think is high-water mark in Teresa's Mystical 
Theology, regarded by herself as her entrance into that 
state, superior to all semi-physical ecstasies and raptures, 
which she calls the mystical Marriage of the Soul, the 
nearest approach to the Beatific Vision possible in this 
life. It is impossible to read her description without 
feeling the immense advance she has made in spirituality. 
It is not only that she has perceived " the chief end of 
man — to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever " — but 
in a flash of insight she touches on the deepest truths of 
philosophy ; and with greater precision than was often 
attained by her directors. The materialism, the anthro- 
pomorphism of her earlier conceptions is transcended. 
It is a moment of clear vision into truth ; a moment's 
understanding of the vastness and sublimity of the realities 
with which we are all in touch, but which we can never 

Something in the simplicity of the words and the 
greatness of the thought in those rebukes which she heard 
in the heaven-sent Voice, has always reminded me — I 
scarce know why — of the closing words of that great scene 
in the German poet's profoundest work — 

Faust. — Der du die vv-eite Welt umschweifst, 

Geschiif tiger Geist, wde nah fiihl icli mich dirl 
Erdgeist. — Du gleichst dem Geist den du begreifst ; 
Nicht mir! (verschwindet) 


Some of the stories told of Teresa are no doubt myths 
grown up through the more or less unconscious exaggera- 
tions of those repeating descriptions of misunderstood or 
inexplicable incidents. Are we to believe the story told 
by a nun, not considered an untrustworthy person, that 
passing the parlour where the holy Mother Teresa was 
conversing with the no less holy Saint John of the Cross, 
she saw them both in esctasy, supported in the air at 
some distance from the ground ? 

These " levitations " are not peculiar to Teresa. In 
the Acta Sanctorum similar and more extraordinary 
phenomena are attributed to forty saints or beatified 
persons, and are said to have been attested by crowds 
of their contemporaries. In Teresa's time, the excellent 
and hard-working Bishop of Valencia was believed to be 
suspended for twelve hours, his family, his clergy, and 
a multitude of lay persons going to witness the miracle. 
Peter of Alcantara is said to have been wafted in the 
presence of witnesses even across the Tagus. The same 
is related of Saint Isidore the Ploughman, a legend intro- 
duced by Lope de Vega in his charming play about that 
homely saint. 

With such a mass of testimony confronting us are we 
to remain entirely sceptical ? The attempted explana- 
tions are sometimes as difficult to accept as the miracles. 
It is suggested that the whole witnessing crowd must have 
suddenly fallen into the hypnotic trance ; or that some 
trick or accident of holding the breath can affect the 
specific gravity of the body ; others maintain that the 
floating in the air differs in degree but not in kind from 
mere ordinary jumping. Many of us have experienced 
the phenomenon ourselves in that most delightful Flying 
Dream of which I have never seen a satisfactory explana- 
tion. One might be tempted to think that the saints^in 


their abnormal condition of nerves and stomach, some- 
times mistook their dreams for reality — a mistake often 
made by children. But that would not account for the 
crowds who admired the suspended bishop, or saw Peter 
of Alcantara shooting across the Tagus. 

Teresa attributes few if any miracles to herself, though 
she does, somewhat vaguely, describe the levitations. 
But many wonders were told of her (especially at the time 
of her Beatification years after her death). A dying nun 
in Salamanca saw Teresa, who was at Segovia, standing 
by her bed. The nuns at Segovia had observed that the 
Mother was missing just at that time, and afterwards 
they questioned her. Teresa was very reserved ; but 
at last she said, " Yes, I was there." The words are 
ambiguous. It is not certain what she meant ; but 
modern researches into telepathy, phantasms, and kindred 
phenomena, will not allow us to dismiss this story as 
entirely devoid of foundation. The child she raised from 
the dead was probably only stunned ; the various pro- 
phecies attributed to her may have been only shrewd 
guesses, or she more probably had some gift of clair- 
voyance or foreknowledge, not common enough to be 
easily explained, but also not sufficiently unusual to be 
properly called miraculous. 

We study these subjects now and have not as yet 
made much of them. In the sixteenth century a few 
persons, like Baltasar Alvarez and Teresa herself, were 
beginning to suspect the occurrences might be connected 
with ill-health and other physical causes ; but to the 
generality the only possible explanation was that they 
were caused by direct intervention of a greater power, 
divine or satanic as the case might be. 

Teresa's ecstasies and raptures, visions and voices — 
what were they really ? How are we to regard them ? 


Were they all hallucination ? delusion ? the absurdities of 
hysteria ? — (whatever that strange mental disaggregation 
which usurps the name of hysteria may be). 

In the first place, they must have been what are called 
" psychic hallucinations " ; they did not deceive her five 
bodily senses, or make her think that exterior material 
objects or earthly voices were appearing in space or time 
as she did herself. Psychic hallucinations not wholly 
dissimilar have no doubt been observed by alienists in 
their patients. The difficulty is not that the hallucina- 
tions of these sufferers are generally of a trivial, or gross, 
or meaningless character, while those of the high-minded 
Teresa were almost always exalted and beneficent. The 
difficulty is that Dr. Charcot's subjects are admittedly 
more or less insane, and exhibit a constant tendency to 
mental deterioration. But Teresa was remarkably sane ; 
and though her visions and locutions continued, almost, 
if not altogether, to the end of her life, her mental powers 
never weakened. 'Her very latest letters, written a week 
or two before her death, may be a trifle querulous, but are 
as excellent in style, as weighty in matter, as practical 
and humorous as those of thirty years earlier. The same 
has been observed of other saints or seers who have had 
similar experiences. Socrates belonged to the same class ; 
perhaps Numa Pompilius. Nearer ourselves we have 
Blake, of whom his latest biographer says — 

" Like Teresa he was drunk with intellectual vision. 
That drunkenness illuminated him during his whole life 
yet without incapacitating him for any needful attention 
to things by the way. He lived in poverty because he did 
not need riches, but he died without leaving a debt. He 
was a steady not a fitful worker, and his wife said of him 
she never saw his hands still unless he was reading or 


I confess, however, to finding a greater gap between 
Blake and ordinary sane people, than I do between them 
and Teresa. 

There will doubtless always be persons who believe 
that the visions of the seers are objective ; authentic 
perceptions of actual beings not of this world. The obvious 
difficulty here is that the seers do not all see the same 
beings, and each one sees what, in a sense, he expects. 
It was the Virgin Mary who appeared to little Catholic 
Bernadette at Lourdes ; not Buddha or Mahomet. True, 
the difficulty is not insuperable ; for why should Buddha 
have appeared to one not his votary ? and would she have 
recognized him if he had ? 

I think the real cause of our incredulity is something 
rather more abstract. Most of us have lost our faith, 
not in the continued existence of dead saints or of the 
exalted personages of Teresa's vision, but in their exist- 
ence in any state at all resembling our own, such as is implied 
by their appearing objectively in a form recognizable 
by our senses, or by our minds which have formed their 
experience on the evidence of the senses. That the Blessed 
Virgin looked to Bernadette like a lovely girl of eighteen 
wearing a blue robe, may have made her real to the simple 
child ; to the student these details make her seem unreal. 
What has the Mother of God to do with blue raiment or 
adolescence or earthly beauty ? Seated in the Rose of 
the Blessed she is beyond all that ! The phantasm could 
not have been she ! And the voice of Jesus, the Lord's 
voice as Teresa believed, commanding, consoling, rebuking 
— the things it said were not strange enough ! They were 
precisely what a gifted clever woman like Teresa was 
thinking, or might have been thinking, at the moment 
she heard the voice. 

With great diffidence, aware of my own incompetence 


in any sense to decide, I suggest that Teresa's visions 
and voices were subjective, and that her trances and 
ecstasies were akin to the hypnotic sleep ; — though she 
was perfectly sane, of good judgment, mature years, and 
a fervent lover of the truth. I think she was deluded 
in supposing she looked into hell and saw actual devils ; 
deluded too in believing her cross adorned with jewels, 
or that an angel pierced her with a flaming dart, or that 
]K, Christ stood before her wearing His crown of thorns. I 
think she had a vivid, forcible way of representing things 
to her imagination, accompanied by strong visualizing 
power. In a word, her thoughts became visible to her and"' 

Which of us in dreams, has not asked questions and 
heard replies, both questions and replies being (I suppose) 
made by ourselves ? Many of us know what it is to begin 
dreaming before we have lost self-consciousness in sleep ; 
I believe half the ghost stories can be accounted for by this 
short, sudden, unperceived, uncontinued, lapse into dream. 
Teresa's visions were too purposeful, too obviously con- 
nected with her meditation to be mere ordinary dreams. 
But I have found that under the stress of great emotion or 
thought, the visionary figures if they come, do connect 
themselves with it, and do take their colour from it. 

It has been said that full consciousness is like a room 
- lighted by many jets of gas ; full sleep like the same room 
with all the gas jets turned out ; the hypnotic sleep — 
and its kindred conditions of trance — is like the room 
when only one gas jet is alight, and that one is flaring 
much higher than usual. The one gas jet is the Imagina- 
tion in its most exalted and imposing condition, so exalted, 
so imposing, that it seems a new faculty altogether. I 
do not think Teresa's experiences were supernatural ; 
nor that her ecstasies and visions had the importance 


which she herself, and still more emphatically, her disciples 
ascribed to them. I think she mistook when she believed 
angel or devil was definitely there because she saw him 
with the eyes of her soul. She mistook in believing God 
spoke to her directly, in a manner other than He speaks 
to any of His servants who do His will. But my aim is 
altogether less to tell what / think, than to show what 
Teresa thought, and what came of her thought ; for it is 
not always the fact which matters, but the thing which 
is thought of the fact. 

These raptures and ecstasies, these visions and voices, 
were the husk enclosing the kernel of spiritual truth, which 
her dramatic nature might not otherwise have received. 
To her, husk and kernel were all one ; — good gifts from 
God, marvellous favours. She blesses Him for them, she 
feels her soul bettered by His grace ; quietness and peace 
and joy in the Holy Ghost possess her, and burning desire 
to perform some great work for God, to become of service 
to Him ; — no labour too great ! no martyrdom, no death 
too hard ! She longed, she says, to cry aloud, and 
to tell all God's children not to be content with small 
services ; not to miss the great things He would do for 
those who gave themselves up entirely for His use. 

Vuestra soy, para Vos naci, Thine am I, I was born for 

Que mandais hacer de mi ? What wouldst Thou, Master, 

make of me ? 

Vuestra soy, pues me criastis. Thine am I, I was made by 

Vuestra, pues me redimistis. Thine am I, Thou redeemedst 

Vuestra, pues que me sufristis, Thine, since Thou sufferedst for 

Vuestra, pues que me llamasteis, Thine since Thou calledst me 

to Thee, 



Vuestra, pues me conservasteis, 

Vuestra, pues no me perdi, 
^Que quereis, Senor, de mi ? 

Veis aqui mi corazon, 

Yo le pongo en vuestra palma 

Mi cuerpo, mi vida y alma, 
Mis entranas y aficion ; 

Dulce Esposo y redemcion 

Pues por vuestra me ofreci 

iQne mandeis hacer de mi ? 

Dadme muerte, dadme vida, 
Dad salud 6 enfermedad 
Honra 6 deshonra me dad, 
Dadme guerra 6 paz cumplida, 

Flaqueza 6 fuerza a mi vida, 

Que a todo dire que si. 

i Que quereis hacer de mi ? 

Solo Vos en mi vivid 

iQue mandais hacer de mi ? 

Thine am I, Thou preservest 

Thine since I am not lost wholly. 
What wouldst Thou, Master, 

have of me ? 

Behold Thou seest here my 

Within Thy hand I lay it 
whole ; 

My body, and my Hfe, my soul. 

Of my affections th' inmost 

Sweet Spouse, who my Re- 
deemer art. 

Since I would give myself to 

What wilt Thou, Master, have 
of me ? 

Give me death or give me life. 
Give health or give infirmity 
Give honour or give obloquy 
Give peace profound or daily -J 

strife, ^ 

Weakness or strength add to 

my hfe ; 
Yea Lord, my answer still 

shall be. 
What wilt Thou, Master, have 

of me ? 

'Tis Thou alone dost live in me 
What wilt Thou I should do 
for Thee ? 




WE have now reached the time when, after long 
preparation, Teresa entered upon her work ; 
upon the harvest of the good seed so long 
growing in her soul. 

" I was always wondering," she says, " what I could do 
for God; and I bethought me that the first thing was 
wholly to follow the call which His Majesty had given 
me to religion, keeping my rule with all the perfection 
possible. But this was very difficult : for though there 
were many servants of God in our house, yet the relaxation 
of the rule, and the frequent absences permitted or even 
suggested to us on account of our poverty, occasioned great 
distraction of spirit." 

It was soon clear to her that the work for God lying 
at her hand was to bring the daughters of Mount Carmel a 
little nearer to the kingdom of heaven. But how ? She 
waited silently for guidance ; the idea all the time persist- 
ing in her mind, growing, expanding, taking shape, till it 
flamed within her as a very fire of desire. 

One evening, i6th July 1560, a little company was 
gathered in Teresa's cell. Her old friend Juana de Suarez 
was there, her two cousins Inez and Ana de Tapia ; her 
gay young niece, ^ Maria de Ocampo, at this time a girl 

^ Really the daughter of her first cousin. 



of sixteen, a lay boarder at the Encarnacion. Half jesting 
they talked of the crowd of people in the convent, and of 
the general worldliness ; of the continual going and coming 
of strangers to the parlour and the garden ; of the visits and 
appointments, the profane pictures and books and music ; 
very likely of a few small scandals risen among the hundred 
and eighty nuns, many of them quite young and allowed 
far more liberty in the convent than they would have had 
in their homes. 

" I'll tell you what it is," cried Maria de Ocampo, 
" we must all run away and start a new house where we 
can live like real hermits ! " 

The others took up the idea ; they set to work building 
castles in the air, planning the size, the arrangement, the 
cost of a new convent. 

" I'll give a thousand ducats towards it ! " cried Maria, 
who was an heiress. 

Teresa said little, but she listened. She was thinking 
that in a little house such as the girls were picturing, with a 
small number of chosen nuns, it would be possible — it 
would be easy — to observe the rule of the early CarmeHtes, 
the rule of the good Saint Albert. And she remembered 
with a little shiver of diffidence that this very year she 
had bound herself with a solemn vow never to refuse a call 
from God ; always to do the thing which was " most 

A few days later she was sitting with her friend, Doiia 
Guiomar de Ulloa at whose house she had met the Fran- 
ciscan reformer, Fray Pedro de Alcantara. 

" Do hear what those girls have suggested ! " said 
Teresa; "they want us to imitate the Discalced Fran- 
ciscan nuns in Madrid ; to come away from the Encar- 
nacion, and make a new little convent for ourselves where 
we can follow the Primitive Rule of our Order." 


Dona Guiomar applauded. The girls must have been 
inspired ! Why shouldn't it be done ? Was Teresa really 
thinking of doing it ? Why not ? If she was thinking of 
it — well Doiia Guiomar was ready to provide the necessary 
funds. Within herself Teresa reflected that a promise 
from the rich widow was more to be depended on than 
young Maria de Ocampo's offer of the thousand 

At first, I dare say, no one was in earnest but Teresa 
herself. She thought of her scheme continually and with 
beating heart. One day after the Communion, she was 
gladdened by the voice of her Lord, bidding her go for- 
ward. The convent, so the voice said, " would be 
founded ; and named after San Josef ; and San Josef 
would guard one of its doors and Our Lady of Carmel 
would guard the other. And Christ would go up and 
down in it. And God would be greatly served in that 
house, and would make it a star of great splendour. But 
first Teresa must discuss the matter with her confessor ; 
and she would find him certainly not a hindrance but a 

Accordingly she laid the matter before Baltasar 
Alvarez. Certainly he did not refuse his consent ; never- 
theless contrived to pour a good deal of cold water. In the 
end he sent the enthusiast to her own Provincial, Fray Angel 
de Salazar, for counsel. We shall hear a good deal more 
of Fray Angel, the Provincial of the Carmelites ; he was 
an excellent and amiable personage, slightly timorous as 
events proved ; a friend of Dona Guiomar's and a friend 
of Teresa's, as indeed he continued through life. He did 
not at first make any objection to the suggested convent, 
nor to its proposed observance of the rule of Saint Albert. 

The two saints, Peter of Alcantara the Franciscan, 
and Luis Beltran the Dominican, were also consulted. 


Both expressed approval in letters which are still extant. 
Saint Luis concluded his letter with the words — 

" I believe assuredly that before fifty years have passed, 
your Order will be one of the most illustrious in the Church 
of God, to whose protection I commit you." 

Teresa was greatly encouraged, but now her troubles 
began. That pious busybody, the town of Avila, got 
wind of the matter, and at once intervened with " los 
dichos, las risas, el decir que era disharate " (gossip, laughter 
and contempt), which Teresa had half expected. Doiia 
Guiomar being more accessible than the nun, had to bear 
the full brunt of this storm. On Christmas Day she was 
actually refused absolution unless she would consent to 
withdraw from Teresa's support. An unlooked-for patron 
presently came forward ; Fray Pedro Ibaiiez, a Dominican 
of learning and great repute, who wrote to the two ladies 
a hearty letter saying that at first he had disapproved 
their idea, but on reflection entirely commended it. They 
must on no account give it up ; and he would himself 
undertake to answer any objectors ! But this great 
man's change of opinion was counterbalanced by that 
of Angel de Salazar ; he sent a message to Teresa through 
Baltasar Alvarez, her confessor, ordering her to do nothing 
more whatever, at any rate for the present. To this 
message Alvarez added on his own account that Teresa 
must now recognize that her visions and revelations with 
regard to the convent, and presumably all her other super- 
natural experiences, were no more than disharates de mujer 
(woman's nonsense). 

Teresa, distressed but obedient, settled down at the 
Encarnacion and had to endure some gibes from her 
fellow-nuns. She was setting up to be better than other 
people, was she ? That was sheer pride and rebellion ! 
If she didn't take care she would find herself in the prison 


cell instead of in the new place of Perfection she was imagin- 
ing would suit her ! 

It was at this time that Fray Pedro Ibafiez bade her 
write her Autobiography, that precious Vida which tells 
her whole inner history, and proved so convincing to the 
Dominican that ever afterwards he regarded the writer 
not as a disciple but as a counsellor and friend. 

Six months passed. Then a new Rector came to San 
Gil, the Jesuit College at Avila, Caspar de Salazar, (no 
relation that I know of to the Carmelite Provincial) and 
the matter of the new convent was laid before him by 
Teresa herself, and by Alvarez, whose great severity 
perhaps indicated that he was not very firm in his opinion, 
and had been trying to convince himself rather than his 
victim. At any rate, influenced by Padre Caspar, he 
suddenly withdrew all opposition ; and what was more, he 
gained over Angel de Salazar, the Provincial, as well. 

Again Teresa began to move in the matter. She wrote 
to the Pope Pius iv asking for permission to found her 
convent. And she wrote to her brother-in-law, Juan de 
Ovalle, husband of her younger sister Juana de Ahumada 
with whom she was on terms of the tenderest affection. 
Would Juan be so very kind as to come over from Alba 
de Torrnes, and buy a house in Avila, ostensibly for himself, 
which at the right moment he could hand over for the 
new convent ? 

Juan de Ovalle came at once, his wife and children 
followed ; the house was bought in August 1561. Teresa 
left the Encarnacion on the excuse of visiting her sister ; 
really that she might superintend the repair and alteration 
of the house. 

Various pleasant stories are told of this time. 
Teresa had to contend with lack of funds and various 
other difficulties ; moreover, architecture was not an art 


she had studied. One night a newly built wall fell down 
and caused general consternation. Dona Guiomar feared 
an omen of failure ; Juan de Ovalle said the workmen 
were idiots ; Teresa declared that the Demonio had inter- 
vened. But she was not to be daunted even by the 
Demonio, and tranquilly she bade the workmen build the 
wall up again. 

Soon afterwards she had a vision of the Blessed Virgin 
and San Jose coming down to take up the guardianship 
of the house. Saint Clare also appeared to her and pro- 
mised assistance — a promise afterwards redeemed by her 
nuns of the Convent of Santa Maria de Jesus. 

One of the Ovalle children was killed (or apparently 
killed) by the fall of some stones from the roof. Doiia 
Guiomar broke into lamentation, but Teresa said — 

" Hush ! not one word to his mother ! " 

And she wrapped the child in her veil and prayed over 
him ; so that presently he revived ; and sat up, and threw 
his arms round his aunt's neck, thanking her for his cure. 
Of course this was set down as a miracle ; but Teresa 
herself never admitted that the boy had been actually dead. 

A month later, another baby was born to Juana. He 
only lived three weeks. Teresa held the little sufferer 
in her arms, and at the moment of his death, her face 
glowed with heavenly light, and she saw the angels come 
down to carry the innocent soul to heaven. 

The rebuilding progressed slowly. Presently Avila 
found out what was going on and opposition broke out 
anew. One day at church the preacher preached at 
Teresa in the most pointed and violent way. She listened 
meekly ; but the reproaches were too much for Juana, 
who fled from the church in dismay, and begged her sister 
for Heaven's sake to go back to her convent. 

At this moment came an opportune invitation for 


Teresa wliicli her Superiors ordered her to accept. It 
was from a great hidy of Toledo, Dofia Luisa de la Cerda, 
sister of the Duke of Medina Coeh, and widow of Don 
Arias Pardo de Saavedra, the lord of Malagon and nephew 
of the late great Cardinal Tavera. Don Arias was only 
a few weeks dead, and his widow was in such grief that 
fears were entertained for her reason. By this time 
Teresa's reputation for sanctity had gone abroad and 
many were the persons who sent for her when some accident 
in their lives had directed their thoughts to things spiritual. 
Doiia Luisa was on friendly terms with Fray Angel de 
Salazar the Carmelite Provincial ; and when she asked 
for Teresa he found it " impossible to refuse a lady of 
such importance." The nun was ordered to go ; and she 
performed the short rough journey from Avila to Toledo, 
escorted by Juan de Ovalle her brother-in-law. 

Toledo is so old a city that all sorts of wild stories are 
told of her beginning. One legend ascribes her foundation 
to Tubal, the grandson of Noah ; another to Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; a third, and the favourite, to Hercules. It was 
very soon after the death of Christ that Santiago the son 
of Zebedee came to Spain ; which event says the chronicler, 
"is so estabHshed as truth in the hearts of all Spaniards 
that there is no need to set down any proofs thereof." 
Of course he visited Toledo where he converted many 
and was (we still quote the chronicler) the first Archbishop 
and even the first Primate of all Spain. " Then, very 
content, he went back to Jerusalem and Herod slew him." 

The early history of Toledo is largely the history of 
her Church. She boasted many saints, one of the most 
important Santa Leocadia, a Carmelite nun, in whose 
honour churches were built and hymns were written and 
sung. And among the men saints were San Elpidio, and 


San Julian, and San Ildefonso. Church councils were 
held at Toledo ; and at the great Council of Aries in France 
the Archbishop of Toledo presided. After all this came 
the Goths, a people descended from Magog the son of 
Japhet. Of them the Visigoths — who arrived in the fifth 
century — were the fiercest and the most powerful, so that 
by no means could they be got to go away again. They sat 
down at Toledo making it their capital ; and they governed 
well, although many of them belonged to that most 
detestable heresy of the Arians. And because they ruled 
over many provinces, their capital was named Imperial 
Toledo. The most glorious of the Gothic kings was Wamba, 
who built the walls and many other notable constructions. 
But already in his time the Saracens were infesting the 
coasts of Spain ; and though he assembled a fleet and 
defeated them, yet in the time of his near descendants 
Spain found she had no more strength to keep those 
infidels out. Rodrigo, who feared nor God nor man, was the 
last of the Gothic kings ; and before he was slain in battle 
he had been shown his doom in a tower belonging to that 
great unexplored Cave of Hercules, the entrance of which 
is now forgot, but which lieth beneath the town of Toledo. 
And after Rodrigo, the Moors were in Spain for seven 
hundred doleful years, and at Toledo for three hundred 
and sixty. But she was no longer the capital of Spain 
for the conquerors loved more the south and their dear 
towns of Granada and Seville and Cordoba. Yet the people 
of Toledo were not wholly miserable ; for the Moors were 
just men and gentle, and let the Christians worship as 
they list, and have their bishops and the Sacraments. 
But the city was often involved in the Moorish quarrels, 
and sometimes its masters were cruel to the conquered 
inhabitants ; as that time when the Governor invited four 
hundred of them to a feast, and as they entered one by 

--' ^'^".t^^ .: 


one had them beheaded and their bodies thrown out into 
a ditch ready dug to receive them. 

At last came the day of reconquest by Alfonso vi and 
the Cid Campeador, 12th May 1085, And now Toledo 
came to her own again, and was made the capital of Castille, 
And Alfonso gave himself the title of Emperor of the 
Empire of Toledo. And Toledo the city bore no arms, 
nor device, nor pendon, nor seal, but only that of the 
King (which was no little pre-eminence) ; and when the 
cities of the kingdom should assemble in Cortes, the King 
himself was to speak and to vote only in the name of 
Toledo. And Alfonso and his sons who followed him, 
made good laws and would have all the many races of 
people, Mozarabes, and Moors, and Jews, and foreigners, to 
live at peace together and in liberty, each with their own 
tribunals. Wherefore the rhyme saith 

Toledo la realeza Toledo the royal. 

Alcazar de Emperadores, Of Emperors, seat ; 

Donde grandes y menores Where all great and small 

Todos viven en franqueza. In Liberty meet. 

How much Teresa de Ahumada knew of the history 
of Toledo, I cannot say. She took great interest in fortress 
cities and used them often to furnish illustrations and 
similes. We can picture her arriving under the escort of 
her brother-in-law ; most likely riding a donkey and perched 
on the hamuga, that stiff slippery sideways saddle used by 
women. They came in by the northern road — a mere 
track — through the suburb of Covachuelas, this being 
the only side of Toledo not defended by the Tagus. They 
passed the lately built Hospital of Saint John the Baptist 
erected by the great Cardinal Tavera. Then bearing to 
the right they entered the city by the gate of the new 
Visagra, built some ten years ; and, still moving west, 
passed the old Visagra (a Moorish gate of the ninth century), 


and to the remains of the walls of Wamba. They saw many 
winding lanes, church towers, buildings of var3dng anti- 
quity ; but not the Cathedral, or the Alcazar, or the market- 
place of the Zocodover, all these being out of sight on 
the left. Presently they saw the Gate of the Cambron built 
by Alfonzo vi, now ruinous and with talk already beginning 
of its restoration. High up before them towering over 
the Tagus and the Bridge of Saint Martin, was the beautiful 
Church of San Juan de los Reyes, built by Ferdinand and 
Isabella. Before reaching it they turned up a dark lane, 
and passed through a high door studded with iron bosses, 
into a spacious courtyard, surrounded (I believe) by carved 
galleries ; the lower gallery supported on marble columns 
and forming a pleasant arcade below, furnished with at 
least two finely carved marble aljihes — round cisterns for 
holding drinking water. In one corner a wide staircase 
led to the upper floors. Servants in livery, men-at-arms, 
priests, ladies-in-waiting, provision-vendors, bustled in and 
out ; the travellers were received by a pompous Major- 
domo, wearing a heavy chain as badge of his office. 

Many such grand houses were there in Toledo, This 
one belonged to the great lady, Dona Luisa de la Cerda. 
And now it is the convent of the Discalced Carmelite 
nuns — Teresa's nuns — who moved thither in the year 
1608 during the priorate of Beatriz de Jesus, Teresa's 
niece, daughter of our friends Juana de Ahumada and 
Juan de Ovalle. In this house I have visited the nuns 
and seen their relics. At least it is believed to be Dofia 
Luisa's very house. Like the old chronicler I will say that 
the belief is so firmly established that I see no reason for 
adducing proofs thereof. 

Teresa's visit to the widow of Don Arias Pardo lasted 
six months and was not without importance. The estab- 
lishment was like a miniature court, unlike anything 


Teresa had visited before. She gives an amusing de- 
scription of the irksome etiquette both she and the bereaved 
lady herself were obhged to observe. The very eating 
and drinking were arranged to suit the titles and not the 
appetites. The amount of conversation proper for a 
servant was regulated entirely by his position. " Truth 
to tell, this business of being a great lady is mere sub- 
jection — slavery to a thousand things which really don't 
allow the poor rich folk to live ! Two months in that 
house were enough to put one for ever out of love with the 
desire of being a senora. Though the palace was certainly 
agreeable in its situation ; within sight of the mountains 
and the river, of the skies and the rocks ; in a town the 
admiration of all Castille ; and Doiia Luisa, one of the 
greatest in the kingdom, was herself the humblest and 
gentlest person in the whole world ! " 

The widow accepted Teresa's ministrations and profited 
by them. The household also, knowing they had a saint 
among them (this is not Teresa's own account), watched 
her, followed her example, and improved daily in every 
respect. As for herself — the Lord favoured her with many 
graces during her stay. The visions and locutions were 
comforting and frequent. More than once to her dismay 
she was publicly rapt in an ecstasy. 

She made friends too. The Jesuit Fathers were 
friendly, and two Dominicans ; she had the happiness 
of knowing that to one of them her conversation was of 
profit, as was his to her. Peter of Alcantara visited 
Teresa at Toledo. Doiia Luisa became a lifelong friend 
and patroness. Even more important was her companion, 
an orphan girl named Maria de Salazar,i who a little 

^ Salazar, I have not traced if she was related to Fray Angel or to 
Padre Caspar of the same name. Surnames appear over and over again 
in the society of the time ; but relationships were sometimes very remote- 


later become a Carmelite, and as Maria de San Jose was 
the distinguished Prioress of Seville, and the best beloved 
of all Teresa's daughters. 

At the time, however, none of those people seemed 
more interesting than a lady who travelled expressly from 
Andalucia to visit Teresa, and stayed for a fortnight with 
her in Doiia Luisa's hospitable house. This was Maria de 
Jesus, also a Carmelite, though she had not yet taken the 
perpetual vows, who had been fired by the same desire as 
Teresa, — the desire to found a convent for the observance of 
the Primitive Rule. She had sold all her possessions and 
travelled barefoot to Rome ; " not," says the chronicler, 
" moved by curiosity or vanity to which her sex is commonly 
addicted, but solely to obtain the necessary permission 
for the Foundation which she contemplated." She had 
heard through Gaspar de Salazar of Teresa's project for 
a new convent at Avila, and she felt that they ought to 
consult together, and do their work in sympathy, not in 
rivalry. Probably at this time Maria seemed the more 
imposing of the two nuns ; and at any rate on one subject — 
that of the endowment of the new convent — she changed 
Teresa's opinion, which had not at first been favourable 
to the enforcement of the rule of strict poverty. 

Years afterwards we hear of this Maria de Jesus again. 
By that time Teresa's success had far exceeded her own, 
and it is touching to read that instead of exhibiting a too 
natural envy, she sent for the woman who had surpassed 
her, and meekly accepted her as a monitress and a 

It was at Toledo that Teresa wrote her Life in obedience 
to Ibanez, a task which she probably considered trivial 
in comparison with the founding of her convent. Yet her 
writings were perhaps her greatest achievement. In them 
she " builded better than she knew " : and while her 


convents were — practically — for tlie few, her books contain 
messages for all, and will live so long as the love of God 
and the yearning for perfection are alive in that Holy 
Catholic Church, which we believe is so much larger and 
wider than even large-hearted Teresa knew. 

Time went on and Teresa wanted to get back to Avila. 
The nuns of the Encarnacion were threatening to elect her 
Prioress, a prospect most distasteful to her, for her heart 
was no longer in her old convent. However it presently 
became clear that she was to be allowed the independence 
for which she yearned. 

She took leave of Doiia Luisa and went back to Avila ; 
straight to the house which Juan de Ovalle had bought 
for her and in which he was lying ill. Juana, his wife, 
was a.\v3.y at Alba ; of course it was quite natural that 
Teresa should go and nurse him. I cannot but suspect 
that good Juan de Ovalle made the most of this complaint 
— apparently influenza. Ribera's account is delightfully 

" The Lord kept Juan ill till all the business was con- 
cluded. Then he said to his sister-in-law, ' Lady, I need 
now be in suffering no longer : ' and lo ! the Lord healed 
him at once ! " 

Doiia Guiomar was not in Avila ; but Teresa had now 
a friend in the Bishop, Don Alvaro de Mendoza, whose 
sympathies had been enlisted by Peter of Alcantara. 
The Brief from the Pope authorizing the new foundation 
had arrived. It was addressed to Doiia Guiomar and her 
mother, Doiia Aldonza de Guzman, and amongst other 
provisions commanded that the new convent should be 
under the direct authority, not of the Carmelites but of 
the Bishop of Avila. Don Alvaro, when he first heard 
this, was inclined to refuse the charge. But Peter of 
Alcantara, old and infirm, was at this time staying with 


Don Francisco, the Caballero Santo ; the old man mounted 
a donkey and rode off to Tiemblo where Don Alvaro was 
staying. He pleaded Teresa's cause with so much eloquence 
that the Bishop was won over. Soon after he consented 
to make Teresa's acquaintance. Like every one else, he 
no sooner saw her than he fell completely under her spell. 
For ever after the two were the closest friends ; and Don 
Alvaro left express instructions in his will that he was 
to be buried near Teresa in the church of the Convent 
of San Jose in Avila. There of a truth the good Bishop 
lies to this day ; but Teresa is not near him. She sleeps 
at Alba de Tormes ; and I greatly fear it would not have 
been her choice. This intercession with the Bishop of 
Avila was Peter of Alcantara's last work. He died soon 
afterwards and Teresa never saw him again except in a 

All was now ready for the opening of the convent. 
The house was finished. It was small, but there was a 
nice little church with a spiked grill behind which the 
nuns were to be present at Mass ; there was a small zaguan 
or entrance vestibule, the whole " made in poverty like 
the manger at Bethlehem." It stands — the nuns are 
there still — to the south-east of Avila beyond the great 
market-place now decorated with Saint Teresa's statue, 
and beyond the subdued splendour of the Romanesque 
church of San Pedro. Still the nuns talk to you through the 
small, closely barred reja (screen) which Teresa planned. 
The house is, they say, fairly comfortable, but rambling 
— all up and down steps — several small poorhouses having 
been thrown into one. They have a good huerta (orchard 
and kitchen garden) which tiU lately was not overlooked 
so that they could walk in it unveiled. Among their 
relics, I saw Teresa's wooden pillow ; the hamuga upon 
which she sat her donkey ; and a paper pattern she made 



for the simple toca (wimple) which her nuns have worn 
ever since. 

On the day of Saint Bartholomew, 24th August 1562 (the 
same year that the Turks took Cyprus, and destroyed the 
last Eastern Carmelite convent which had always adhered 
to the Primitive Rule), Maestro Caspar Daza, acting under 
commission of the Bishop, placed the Blessed Sacrament 
in the little Church of the Convent of San Josef, and habits 
were given to four novices. " And so," says Teresa, 
" with all authority and power our monastery of our 
glorious father San Josef was made ; I was there in it by 
licence of the Church. It was to me as if I were walking 
in glory to think I had carried out the Lord's command, 
and that His Majesty had taken me, who am so poor and 
mean, for His instrument in so great a work. So happy 
was I, that I felt as if I were lifted up out of my very self." 

The four novices were Antonia del Espiritu Santo (of 
the Holy Ghost) introduced by Peter of Alcantara ; Maria de 
la Cruz (of the Cross) from Dofia Guiomar's house ; Ursula 
de los Santos (of the Saints) introduced by Caspar Daza, 
a " girl who had been very galana (gay) but afterwards 
was most devoted, and in long sickness a pattern to all " ; 
the fourth was Maria de San Jose, not Doiia Luisa's 
companion, but the sister of Padre Julian de Avila, the 
new convent's chaplain. All these nuns turned out 
admirably, and with the exception of Ursula who died 
young, were much used by Teresa in her subsequent work. 

Two nuns from the Encarnacion, Inez and Ana de 
Tapia, Teresa's cousins, were present at the opening 
ceremony. They soon joined the new community, as did 
the young Maria de Ocampo, afterwards of importance 
as Maria Bautista, the prioress at Valladolid. Teresa 
herself now dropped her family name, and adopted that 
by which she is known to the whole world, Teresa de Jesus. 




IN the opening of her treatise, " The Pathway of Per- 
fection," Teresa de Jesus explains very clearly what 
were her motives in the foundation of this her first 

Her soul had been stirred by accounts of the many 
heretics, especially in France ; — those terrible Protestants, 
whom she could only regard as enemies of the Church and 
therefore as enemies of God. Earnestly she desired to con- 
tribute something to the defeat of the evil. It was not 
for a weak woman to go out and fight the Lord's battles 
like the Jesuits, for instance. Her anxiety was, " seeing 
the Lord had so many enemies, so few friends, that these 
His friends should be as good as possible." " I deter- 
mined," she says, " that I would myself follow the evan- 
gelical counsel with all the perfection possible and induce 
the little ones of this house to do the same. That so, all 
of us, diligent in prayer for the active defenders of the 
Church, should help them in their holy work." 

" Oh sisters of mine in Christ ! " so she cries in par- 
enthesis, " my heart breaks to see so many souls lost ! 
Aid me in this work ! This is your business, this should 
be your desire ; for this your petitions and your tears ! 
Take no thought for the things of time ! Grudge not 
suffering for Him who suffered for you ! The world is on 



lire ; men are again crucifying the Lord, and would throw 
His Church down even to the ground. Let us give up all, 
if it be only to see one more soul in heaven ! " 
Again in the third chapter of the same book — 
" I say then as to the end for which God has assembled 
us in this house, that seeing evils so great that human 
strength is not able to put them down (though some have 
fancied they can be put down by force and fire of arms) 
it has seemed good to me to do what soldiers do in time 
of war, when the enemy has overrun the land and their 
Lord is well nigh lost. They build a fortress from whence 
they can sometimes make saUies against the foe. And in 
the fortress must be only some few chosen persons, such as 
can effect more by themselves than could many if cowardly. 
In this way victory is often achieved ; or if not victory, 
at least there is no entire defeat. Why do I insist upon 
this ? Because, my sisters, I would have you understand 
what it is we must ask of God. We must ask that in this 
our little fortress, there may never be one traitor ; but that 
God may hold us all in His hand, and that He may give 
great success to the captains of the fortress and of His 
city. And by captains of the city, I mean the theologians 
and those who go forth to preach. For I tell you in this 
war our confidence must be on the ecclesiastical arm, and 
not on the swords of the laity. And the ecclesiastical 
arm depends greatly on the religious Orders ; for in them 
should be found those chosen souls who are strongest in 

From passages like these, we can understand what was 
the greatness of view which made Saint Teresa, as it had 
made Saint Ignatius Loyola, a power in all countries down 
to our own time. Teresa's opinion of the Protestants 
and their doctrines may, or may not, have been prejudiced, 
ignorant, and false. V^ere she was right was in thinking 


that spiritual war must be waged by spiritual means. 
Not worldly soldiers, not stakes and imprisonments are 
needed ; but the armour of God : the breastplate of 
Righteousness, the shield of Faith, the sword of the Spirit, 
the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. 

The sixteenth century was no gentle age, but this 
obscure woman in a country town was gentle. In Spain, 
pity was a plant trying to grow on an unfriendly soil ; but 
Teresa was pitiful. Ah ! those poor souls, perishing 
eternally for their ignorance and sin ! The remedy she 
proposes is not punishment for them, but preaching of 
the truth ; and suffering for herself, and for those chosen 
sisters who would voluntarily associate themselves with 
her. They must not care only for their own release from 
Purgatory ! What matter is even Purgatory, if they can 
save souls, and benefit many, and honour God ? Pains 
which have an end ? Ah sisters ! heed them not ! Did 
not He suffer to save you ? Would you fare better than 
He ? Join yourselves with Him in His suffering, and you 
will be joined with Him in the redemption of the world ! 

A convent had therefore in Teresa's eyes two reasons 
for existence. First, it is a place so arranged, so ruled, 
so disciplined, that the individual can there live in the 
i*"^ closest possible association (what she calls Union) with the 
God she loves. Secondly, it is a place for spiritual soldiers 
who with spiritual arms shall fight in the wars of God. 

To attain these two ends, it was Teresa's opinion that 
concentration of purpose was essential. The world must 
be shut out. Worldly interests, worldly affections, though 
legitimate in themselves, are, for a nun, idols usurping the 
place of God. Enclosure is eminently desirable. 

Teresa makes no fetish of enclosure. Even under the 
relaxed rule practised at the Encarnacion — where visitors 
of both sexes were allowed and the nuns could go whither 


they pleased — she had found many saints as she freely 
admits. Moreover the captains of the spiritual army 
nia}^ indeed must mix with the world. " Think, my 
daughters, is it a httle thing for these men to deal with 
the world, to transact business in the world, to conform 
to the conversation of the world, and all the time to be in 
their souls, strangers to the world, enemies of the world, 
living in the world like men in exile — in fact to be not 
men but angels ? " It would seem that Teresa thought 
this really the highest state ; in her later years she attained 
to it herself. But she did not consider it fit for beginners. 
Enclosure was for them easier and safer. It was not 
\n end in itself. It was means to an end. It was a 
kindly provision of God who knows the weakness of human 
nature. He prepares cells for His devoted ones. He will 
not call them forth unless they have strength for it, and 
unless their coming forth will be for His glory and not 
for a reproach and a harm. 

The constitution of Teresa's convents, beginning with 
this San Josef in Avila, was all in this spirit. So was the 
advice she gave her nuns whether by word or pen. " What- 
soever you do, it must be done for the love and for the 
glory of God. Your whole business, my daughters, your 
whole profession is this : to make your will conformed to 
the will of God ; for it is very certain that in this consists 
the greatest perfection which can be attained in the 
spiritual path. In this consists aU our good." ^ 

Even so spoke Piccarda dei Donati in that heaven of 
the moon which in a sense corresponds to this second 
mansion of the kingdom of heaven, in writing of which 
Teresa uses the above words. The language of the two 
masterpieces is here almost identical. 

" In la sua volontade e nostra pace," says Piccarda. 

^ Las Moradas, ch. iii. 


But in Dante's Empyrean as in Teresa's Innermost, — 
both conceived of as the seat of God in the Kingdom 
of Heaven — the same thought as Piccarda's is expressed 
a Uttle differently. The word will (which has always a 
touch of effort in its sound), is dropped. We are told 
by Dante and by Teresa too, — in figurative language 
for mysticism can use no other, — that a great Light 
reigns in that abode of God, which makes the Creator 
visible to His creature, who only in beholding Him has 

" Che solo in lui vedere ha la sua pace." 

That, that indeed is the true, the ultimate end ! and 
the means of this supreme vision are what Teresa sought 
to establish when she drew up the rule of San Josef, no 
less than when she wrote her book of the Way of Per- 
fection, her book of the Many Mansions. 

The Primitive Rule of the Carmelites — that given 
them by Saint Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem — was in 
its rigours and mortifications one of the most severe in 
the Church. Teresa, re-establishing it for her nuns, 
made a few additions and insignificant alterations, choosing 
what she considered the best points from the Rules of 
other Orders. For instance, she adopted the Franciscan 
scheme of meals ; and certain gentle laws with regard to 
novices. Of course she included the usual vows of 
Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. The Offices were to 
be said regularly. Definite hours of Silence were ap- 
pointed, when each sister must be secluded in her cell, 
occupied in meditation and prayer. Useful employments 
were prescribed for other times, — simple handiwork, pro- 
fitable reading, and so forth. At first there were no lay 
sisters, and all the domestic work was done by the nuns. 
After a time Teresa decided that it was distracting and 


took up too mucli of the time of the choir nuns, so she, 
introduced lay sisters and even sometimes a servant. 

Fasts must be frequent and long ; the food at all times 
scanty ; no meat must be eaten except in illness. Dinner 
might consist of an egg, and a bowl of vegetables simply 
dressed, or of " migas " (bread fried with garlic) and a 
little cheese. Fish was allowable, but hard to get. In a 
letter Teresa speaks of " one sardine " apparently for 
the party. As a matter of fact, the sisters sometimes 
sustained themselves on wild berries or leaves found in 
their garden, and the doctor once expressed astonishment 
that they were not all poisoned. 

No money was allowed except in common and no 
private possessions. The prioress must take away any- 
thing of which a sister was beginning to be fond. (Alas ! 
poor sister !) The dress was prescribed : a habit of jerga, 
coarse serge or frieze of its natural colour, narrow and 
reaching to the feet ; the scapular of the same frieze, four 
inches shorter than the habit ; the cloak white, the veil 
of the professed nuns black ; the whole to be made severely 
and of as little stuff as possible. The under tunic was 
allowed of estamena, a finer cloth or serge ; and the feet 
were not strictly bare, but shod with alpargatas, the rough 
loose skin sandals worn by the peasantry. The beds 
were to be furnished only with straw pallets, the sheets 
made of estamena, the blankets of jerga. When necessary, 
wraps of coarse cloth were permissible, but on no account 
of sheepskin. Neither in the dress nor the bed furniture 
must there be anything coloured ; not so much as a sash ; 
and the hair must be cut short so that no time need be 
squandered in dressing it. 

Enclosure was to be as strict as possible. The visits 
of relatives must be discouraged, openly worldly persons 
not admitted to the parlour. But the novices might have 


more visitors than the professed, so that they might be 
able to say freely if they were happy in their life ; and 
if they were not happy they might go away whenever they 
liked. Nothing was so important as the choice of fit 
persons to be novices. Teresa was determined that her 
convents should not be mere places for the bestowal of 
superfluous young women ; she would only accept persons 
with a true vocation ; spiritually minded, of good under- 
standing and good health ; over seventeen years of age 
and on no account " melancholy," or foolishly scrupulous. 
Self-discipline, public or private, was not to be encouraged 
beyond what was ordered, but might be permitted ; 
never, however, against the wish of the nun herself. 

Once a week they were to assemble in Chapter and 
exercise themselves in humility by confessing their faults, 
and in all charity pointing out the faults of their sisters. 
Faults were divided into four classes : light, such as un- 
punctuality, untidiness, eating or drinking without per- 
mission, inciting a sister to laughter in the choir, etc. ; 
medium, such as irreverence, unkindness, or impertinence ; 
grave, such as lying, or disobedience ; and very grave, such 
as general insubordination, violence, or the attempt to 
get into unpermitted communication with outside persons. 

Teresa was particularly anxious that the nuns should 
have freedom in choosing their confessors, and not be 
confined to appointed persons, possibly unsympathetic or 

Her first intention had been that San Josef should have 
an endowment producing a settled income, so that the 
nuns should live without anxiety. Many of the evils of 
the Encarnacion had arisen from insufficient means, 
making long absences of the sisters seem desirable economy. 
But Maria de Jesus, at Toledo, pointed out that such fixed 
income had been prohibited by Saint Albert ; and Teresa 


soon believed that, like Saint Francis of Assisi, she was 
herself in love with Lady Poverty. She lived of course 
before the era of Charity Organization societies ; begging 
had never struck any one as a crime. Teresa was not 
singular in thinking that to live on the irregular charity 
of one's neighbours is to live by faith in God. At the 
present day many charitable institutions are supported — 
though less obviously so — in the same way. 

Most of Teresa's counsellors were for practical reasons 
against this extreme exercise of faith. But Peter of 
Alcantara encouraged her, and once she had recognized 
poverty as a thing of perfection and had heard her Lord's 
voice commanding her to accept it, she was quietly deter- 
mined that it should be the condition of her convent. 

Nevertheless Teresa's strong vein of common sense was 
slightly at war with her generous enthusiasm, and finally 
led to a change in her procedure. Some of her later 
convents had assured means, and she eventually accepted 
an income from Don Francisco de Salcedo even for San 
Josef of Avila. 

Ribera says naively that it was a most fortunate thing 
that the Lord first bade her found in poverty — thus estab- 
lishing a principle — and afterwards, when funds were 
getting low, bade her alter the arrangement. 

Now that the extravagances of mendicancy no longer 
seem to us the perfection of saints, it is bringing no con- 
tempt on Teresa to suspect that her love of poverty was 
not entirely the suggestion of her own genius, and that 
her insistence upon it was of the nature of war against a 
supposed besetting sin. In this suspicion I may be 
altogether wrong ; but Teresa would not be the first who 
has taken a decided part and acted vehemently, in order 
to stifle tiresome doubts as to the entire wisdom of an 
accepted course. 


But this founding without income was partly responsible 
for the storm which arose in Avila, where Teresa was not 
universally popular and where ecclesiastical affairs were 
incessantly discussed. She had herself fallen into de- 
spondency, partly physical, the inevitable reaction after 
the first joyous excitement. She lay awake all night, 
sick with thinking that she had been presumptuous, 
foolish, harmful ; wrong especially in letting San Josef be 
put under the Bishop instead of under the heads of her 
Order, In the morning came the first blow from outside. 
She received a command from the prioress of the Encar- 
nacion bidding her return to her rightful convent at once. 
She obeyed, leaving her four novices at San Josef " like 
sheep without a shepherd" ; expecting herself to be sent 
to the punishment cell. 

But the Encarnacion prioress allowed Teresa to give 
explanation of her conduct, and hearing it, found her 
wrath evaporating. Much perplexed she sent to Angel 
de Salazar, the Provincial, begging him to come at once. 
He came. As he entered, a crowd of angry nuns rushed 
to meet him, vociferating against this one sister who was 
setting herself up above them all, and so accusing them 
by implication of impiety and wrong. The Provincial 
pushed them aside ; he bade Teresa stand up before her 
accusers and speak for herself. She did so. Very quietly 
she told the whole story of the new convent ; with the 
perfect gentleness and perfect decision, those charming 
manners, that good sense, that air of inspiration, which 
all through her career won hearts and disarmed opponents. 
She told of her licence from the Pope ; of her many con- 
sultations with men learned in discipline and devotion. 
If she had taken the final step without the momentary 
knowledge of her superiors — had they not already told 
her she might make the convent ? If they had said it 


was wrong or not to the glory of God, she would have 
given it up, with peace, even with relief. But now — oh 
the joy of beholding the Blessed Sacrament in her church ! 
of knowing there was one more temple of the Lord in 
Avila and dedicated to her glorious father San Jos^ ; of 
seeing the four orphan girls — poor but greatly servants of 
God — encloistered there away from temptation and risk. 

When Teresa ended, there was silence. No one had a 
word to say : not even the noisy section who had thought 
her posing as righteous overmuch. As for Fray Angel, he 
was quite satisfied. Yes, she was right, he had given her 
leave. And now he was going to take her part with the 
townsfolk who had burst into a fury. And he was going 
to send her back to San Josef as quickly as possible. But 
just for the moment she was safer at the Encarnacion, 
and must be content to stay there for a week or two. 
Teresa fretted, but obeyed ; and she sent a message to 
the Bishop begging him to look after the four poor little 
novices at San Josef. 

The commotion in the city soon showed itself terrible ; 
nor is it very easy to-day to understand the cause of the 
widespread indignation. The excuse that Avila had 
already too many institutions to be supported by alms 
hardly seems sufficient, the new convent being on so small 
a scale and patronized by rich people like the Bishop and 
Doiia Guiomar. 

Evidently Teresa had blundered in not taking the civil 
authorities into her confidence. She was more careful in 
subsequent foundations to comply with recognized for- 
malities. But the rage of the private citizens is puzzling. 
Probably they thought her a busybody, being busybodies 
themselves. Perhaps they thought she was founding a 
sect, sectarians being always unpopular at first. She 
was setting herself up to use her private judgment ; had 


not the horrible German heresies begun in that very 
way ? Luther, the arch enemy, had been a rehgious, 
who had taken upon himself to think, and to break off 
from his Order, and to profess himself better than his 
superiors. Added to his dread of insubordination and un- 
orthodoxy was the very human fear for the pockets of the 
residents, the same fear which makes us nowadays object 
to a rise in the rates, no matter for what laudable object. 

Whatever the cause, the corregidor (the king's repre- 
sentative) the regidores (counsellors) the heads of the 
religious Orders, the lawyers and theologians, protested, 
discussed, harangued, as if the city were in mortal danger. 
Avila decided that the thing was monstrous ; the Blessed 
Sacrament must be forcibly removed and the convent 
house razed to the ground. 

Happily an important Dominican, Fray Domingo 
Baiiez, professor of theology at the University of Sala- 
manca, happened to visit Avila just then. He intervened 
in the dispute ; and proved to the secular authorities 
that they were overstepping their province and that the 
matter must be left to the Bishop. There was no more 
suggestion of violence, but the city continued in an up- 

" The demonio," says Teresa, " went up and down in all 
parts, increasing with mighty force the tempest he had 

The town now began a lawsuit and sent distinguished 
persons to Madrid to defend its cause. Voluntary helpers 
came forward for Teresa and appealed to the Royal Council. 
The tide was, however, beginning to turn. Compromise 
was suggested — Teresa was informed that opposition 
would cease if she could arrange for the convent's endow- 
ment. She was tempted ; but Peter of Alcantara appeared 
to her in a vision and bade her listen to no such terms. 


The lawsuit dragged on dully for some time and was 
then dropped without any decision being arrived at. 
The Convent of San Josef was tolerated. Presently it 
was admired. Soon it was enthusiastically supported by 
the very persons who had most opposed it. 

When there was no longer danger of her being torn 
in pieces, Salazar allowed Teresa to return to her four poor 
novices. She was also allowed to take with her four nuns 
from the Encarnacion, including the two Tapias. One of 
these she wished to make prioress ; but the Bishop ordered 
the foundress to assume that office herself. 

Before re-entering the little convent Teresa knelt to 
pray in its church. There she had a vision of Jesus bending 
over her and placing a crown upon her head. 

The storm was over, and all went well for four years 
which Teresa calls the happiest of her life, devoted en- 
tirely to the perfecting of her soul and the souls of her 
spiritual daughters. 

Postulants came to her ; Maria de Ocampo, who took 
the name of Maria Bautista (Baptist) ; and presently 
another near relation, Maria de Avila. How picturesque 
is the account of this latter young lady's arrival ! 

" She came in all the smartness of her vesture, shining 
with silk and with all the adornments and jewellery which 
one could desire, and accompanied by all the knighthood 
of the city. For she was related to all the great ones there, 
and they were all in wonderment, she being alone in the 
house of her father, and his heiress, and but a short while 
before so uplifted in spirit that she had thought no marriage 
proposed for her could be fine enough. But the Lord 
had laid His strong hand upon her ; and after days of 
fighting against Him, and of affliction and tears, she had 
submitted ; and now she became a nun, calling herself 


Maria de San Jeronimo. And with her wealth she founded 
a chaplaincy and gave great gifts to the cathedral." 

Maria de Ocampo's money paid the rent of the convent 
house, and built certain little hermitages in the garden^ 
much prized and often alluded to by Teresa. She refused, 
however, to accept as much money from this girl's father 
as he was willing to give. 

Teresa and the nuns from the Encarnacion had now 
given up the comparatively comfortable habit made of 
estamena, and put on the rough jerga as chosen for the 
Discalced sisters. The prioress's cell was the least com- 
fortable of any. She was diligent in observance of every 
rule ; energetic in sweeping and cooking and performing 
all the menial household duties. She insisted upon cleanli- 
ness ; which doubtless had its share in the exemption of 
the nuns in all her convents from what in Castilian is 
euphoniously termed " misery." This exemption was, 
however, an answer to prayer. The nuns in their frieze 
had found themselves attacked. So they formed a por- 
cession to the church, carrying the cross and singing a 
hymn Teresa had written for the occasion. 

Chorus — Pues nos dais vestido Chorus — Since, Heavenly King, 
nuevo. Thou givst us vesture new, 

j Rey celestial ! Hear us to-day ! 

Librad de la mala gente Save from the evil people. 

Este sayal. This serge, we pray. 

Hijas, pues tomais la cruz, Daughters, since ye the cross 

have ta'en, be ye 
Tened valor. Valiant of heart ; 

Y a Jesus, que es vuestra luz. And pray to Jesus that in 

mercy He 
Pedid favor : Will take your part, 

£1 OS sera defensor And your defender and your 

shield will be 
En trance tal. In this sore fray. 


Chorus — Librad dc la mala 
Estc sayal. 

Pues vinisteis d m6rir 

No desmayeis, 
Y de la gcnte incivil 

No temereis, 
Remedio en Dios hallarcis 

En tanto mal. 

Chorus — Librad dc la mala 
Este sayal. 
Pues nos dais vestido nuevo 

\ Rey celestial I 
Librad de la mala gente, 

Este sayal. 

Chorus — Save from the evil 
people, I-ord 
This serge, we pray. 

Since e'en to die ye all pre- 
pared be. 
Be not dismayed ; 
Nor of this people rude, un 
Be ye afraid. 
In ill so grievous God will grant 
He is your stay. 

Chorus — Save from the evil 
people, Lord, 
This serge we pray. 
Since, Heavenly King, Thou 
givst us vesture new 
Hear us to-day ! 
Save from the evil people. 
This serge we pray. 

As a result, they were miraculously and for ever 
delivered from the plague. 

At the weekly Chapter for mutual improvement, Teresa 
would accuse herself with deep contrition of faults which 
no one else detected in her ; ^£d-th£_nuns__ 
to admonish her whenever they perceived _any impecr^, 
f^tion. She says she lived at San Jose in Paradise ; and 
that her nuns were angels, far holier and better than her- 
self. It was admitted by all that they attained to a very 
high degree of so-called Perfection. No one understood 
better than their prioress the difference between attentive 
ceremonial, and worship in spirit and in truth ; between 
the claims of morality and benevolence, and the sacredness 
of walking with God. 

If we think some of the stories of the nun's obedience 
are a little childish, we must remember that discipline has 
accomplished great things in the world, and that the step 


between discipline and tyranny is, like the one step between 
the sublime and the ridiculous, fatally easy to overpass. 

As for the supply of food, it sometimes ran short. The 
nuns did not go out to beg ; the Lord sent what was 
necessary. If they were hungry, it was His will. He 
never left them actually to starve. 

At first their well was a trial, the water being scanty 
and bad. Teresa sent for experts to improve it. The 
experts laughed. Nothing could be done with that well ! 
It would be throwing money away to touch it. The 
convent must buy water from elsewhere. Teresa reported 
to the sisters, and the lively Maria Bautista cried out — 

" But the Lord is bound to give us water ! It will 
be cheaper for Him to provide it on our own premises ! 
Set the men to work ! " 

The improvement was effected and soon the convent 
had such excellent water that Don Alvaro, the Bishop, 
used to bring his friends to taste it, and the well was called, 
the Fountain of Maria Bautista. 

" I don't instance this as a miracle," says Teresa, " for 
there are other explanations of what occurred. I tell it 
as an example of the faith of these sisters." 

After eight years the well ran dry and the town sank 
them a new one. 

The nearest neighbour was an old gentleman whose 
whole soul was wrapped up in his garden. He required 
water for his flowers, and had ingeniously managed to 
divert part of the public supply for irrigation. Teresa 
wanted to buy some of his ground to enlarge her huerta. 
How was he to be persuaded to sell ? At this moment 
his embezzlement of the water was found out and 
stopped. His flowers drooped. He gave them up, and 
sold the ground to the convent. Obviously another 
miracle ! 


" No, no ! " cries Teresa, " but the Lord, who holds 
all times in His hand, remembered us." 

So the happy years rolled on and the nuns passed their 
days in Prayer and Recollection, and kept strictly to their 
cloister, disregarding the allurements of the world. Teresa 
pondered upon all that must be done for the saving of 
souls and often thought the nuns were being trained by 
God for some great purpose. She was " as one who holds 
a great and secret treasure and longs to bring it forth for 
the enjoyment of others." 

Till the moment for new activity came she occupied 
herself in adding to the " Book of her Life ; and in writing 
the " Pathway of Perfection " {Camino de Perfecion), both 
labours having been commanded by her superiors. 




IN the fifth year after the foundation of San Josef in 
Avila, Teresa's zeal for the salvation of souls was 
newly enkindled by a sermon she heard from Fray 
Alonzo Maldonado, a Franciscan missionary lately returned 
from America. She prayed that missionary work might 
be given to her also ; and she heard her Lord's voice 
answering her — 

"Wait a little, daughter, and thou shalt see great things." 
Six months passed and nothing happened. Then the 
whole Carmelite Order in Spain was stirred by the announce- 
ment that their General, Fra Giovanni Batista Rossi 
(known in Spain as Juan Bautista Rubeo) was, at the 
king's request, coming to visit them. Never before had 
a Carmelite General come to Spain ; the impending visita- 
tion was testimony to the increased sense of responsibility 
in the Catholic Church. 

Travelling in those days, whether by sea or land, was 
no light matter. We have one or two nearly contemporary 
accounts of journeys which give us some idea of the 
difficulties, and even the perils, travellers had to face. 
For example : Navigero the Venetian ambassador in 1523 
sailed on the 6th of April from Genoa for Barcelona. He 
was blown by contrary winds first to Hyeres in France, 



then to Corsica, where he was in great danger from Moorish 
pirates. By the 21st he had got to Palamos in Catalonia, 
and here his patience evaporated and he finished his 
journey by road, reaching his destination in May. Another 
ambassador, some fifty years later, travelling from Hendaye 
to Madrid — a twenty days' journey — was furnished with 
most elaborate directions, as to the arrangements on the 
Spanish side. First, at Irun, the travellers would be 
searched by Inquisition officials to see if they were im- 
porting forbidden books. Then they must waste several 
days finding mules and muleteers. The muleteers must 
on no account be prepaid, or they would gamble away 
their money, and being unable to pay for forage would 
let the mules break down on the way. At Pampluna the 
travellers would be searched by custom's officers to see 
if they were smuggling cloth, but might get off pretty well 
by judicious bribery. At inns en route they would pay 
one real for a bed, another for candle and breakfast, 
another for dinner. They had the right to insist upon 
clean sheets to the beds, and whatever was over from 
dinner they might keep. In Madrid the innkeeper would 
expect monthly payment. The travellers must provide 
their own victuals and oversee the cooking lest they should 
be robbed. The host ought to supply water and salt, and 
clean sheets and tablecloths. And the laundress ought to be 
a woman of repute, or she would steal the shirts ; and so on. 
Reading even these notes, and remembering the great 
size of countries like France and Spain, one is surprised 
that travelling was so frequent as apparently it was. 
Floods, landslips, brigands, ignorant guides, rascally 
donkey-boys, all had to be reckoned with ; and lesser 
persons were very glad to join more important parties for 
protection's sake. However economical the traveller 
might be, twenty days on the road could be no cheap 


undertaking. ,^t Teresa's friends and she herself_seem 
to have been continually on the move ; one wonders 
where all the time, the money, the bodily strength, managed " 
to" come from. 

Fray Juan Bautista Rubeo, the CarmeUte General, 
was no doubt in all respects well provided. He arrived 
in 1566, was a considerable time in Spain, made a good 
impression, and introduced several salutary measures. 

The day came when his tour brought him to Avila. 
Teresa was in some trepidation. Suppose he disapproved 
of San Josef's independence ? Suppose he sent herself 
back to the Encarnacion ? 

She took the wise course of inviting his visit. When he 
had come, she told him the detailed history of her convent. 
Her explanations, her vivid personality, had the usual 
effect. The General was not only satisfied, he was delighted. 
He became at once Teresa's protector and her friend. 

" Overjoyed," she says, " to find a portrait, imperfect 
indeed, yet still a portrait, of what our Order had been in 
its early days, he bade me go forward from this beginning. 
He understood how vehement was my desire to work for 
God, and without my asking it of him, he gave me patents 
for the founding of other monasteries ^ like this one of San 

Teresa now began to guess what were the great things 
which God would allow her to do for Him. 

The patents given to her by the General were her title- 
deeds for her subsequent performance. 

" We, Fray Juan Bautista Rubeo of Ravenna, Prior 
and Master General and servant of all the priors and nuns 
of the Order of the most glorious ever-virgin Mary of 
Mount Carmel . . . concede and give free faculty to the 

1 The words " monasteries " and " convents " were applied to in- 
stitutions for both sexes. 


reverend Mother Teresa de Jesus — . . . pure in spirit and 
endowed with gifts of burning charity, our daughter and 
submissive subject — to take or receive houses and churches 
with grounds attaching in any part of Castille in the 
name of our Order ; that she may make monasteries of 
Carmchte nuns who shall live in every way according to 
the first Rule, and be directly under the authority of the 
General, unhindered by any provincial, vicar, or prior of 
this province ..." and so forth at some length. 

The permission it will be observed was only for Castille 
as Teresa quite understood ; and the convents were to 
be regularly under the Carmelite Order. For the present 
San Josef of Avila was an exception to this latter clause. 
The Bishop, who valued the convent and the prioress 
greatly, was not willing to resign his jurisdiction. Teresa 
herself, however, and the nuns who had followed her 
from the Encarnacion, formally put themselves back 
under the Carmelites. The Bishop consented to this, 
while retaining his hold upon the convent. It was cer- 
tainly a confusing arrangement and was altered a few 
years later. Teresa was now very happy, and at once 
began to make plans for a second convent at Medina del 

She had, however, a new desire which would certainly 
give her no peace till it was accomplished. The first 
suggestion had come from Don Alvaro de Mendoza, the 
Bishop ; now he and Teresa were agreed that the great 
thing wanted was a reformed monastery for men. 

Eagerly Teresa spoke of this to Rubeo. He listened 
favourably enough, but found in the Order so little welcome 
of the idea that he hesitated to consent. Eventually, 
just as he was leaving Spain, he did give cautious per- 
mission for the foundation of two houses for friars, on 
condition that they should engage in preaching and other 


missionary duties, and that the present Provincial, Fray 
Alonzo Gonzalez, and his predecessor, Fray Angel de 
Salazar, should raise no objection. 

Teresa rejoiced at the concession, though as yet she 
had not heard of any friars, or would-be friars, anxious 
for admission to such a monastery. 

Medina del Campo is a forgotten old town known 

to travellers chiefly as the junction station for Avila, 

Salamanca, Zamora, Valladolid, Segovia, and the Escorial. 

It stands in the midst of wheat-fields yielding that pure 

white flour which furnishes Spain with such excellent 

bread. The approach is through forests of transparent 

green umbrella-pines, many bending over the banks 

of swift-flowing mountain streams. Just outside the 

town is a huge, deserted, and ruined castle, an interesting 

specimen of the mediaeval fortress so often in Teresa's 

thoughts. Here the great Queen Isabella died ; here 

Juana la Loca held her brief court ; here Caesar Borgia 

was once imprisoned. In the quiet streets of Medina 

are now few passengers, except market-women and old 

men huddled in blankets leading leisurely donkeys through 

the arcaded, wind-searched alleys. There is a wide square 

surrounded by gaunt old houses ; all with their first 

floor resting on wooden pillars, thus giving a covered 

walk below. There are many heavy brick churches, 

whitewashed within, yet picturesque with old gilding on 

retablos and altars, and coloured figures half seen in the 

gloom of deep-set side chapels. Doubtless all were in 

their glory in Teresa's day. 

She did not know the town well herself ; but her 
friend and director, Baltasar Alvarez, was Rector of 
the Jesuit College there ; and she had another acquaintance 
in the Prior of the Carmelite Monastery of Saint Ana, Fray 
Antonio de Heredia. She sent her chaplain, Padre Julian 


de Avila, to visit these two men and interest them in her 
undertaking. She asked Fray Antonio to find her a 
house for the new convent, and Baltasar Alvarez to 
negotiate with the Bishop for her licence. Antonio dc 
Heredia was an enthusiastic person ; he bought a house 
at once in the Callc de Santiago. It is to be presumed 
he bought it cheap, for it was really a site rather than a 
house ; nothing was standing but a porch and a few bow- 
ing walls. Julian de Avila shook his head when he saw 
the house, and prudently rented another for temporary 
habitation. Then he returned to Avila to fetch Teresa 
and the sisters she was taking for the new foundation. 
These included Maria Bautista, and the two Tapias, Inez 
de Jesus and Ana de la Encarnacion. 

A displeased crowd assembled to see the nuns start, for 
the good folk of Avila were nearly as angry with Teresa 
for going away as they had been with her for coming. 
The Bishop himself was annoyed, and had gone to Olmedo 
in a huff. The nuns travelled in a cart which must have 
been hideously uncomfortable. A little furniture was piled 
upon mules. Padre Julian walked with the muleteers. 

Don Alvaro, the Bishop, penitent for his ill -humour, 
sent a message bidding the party visit him on the way 
at Olmedo. He relented further upon seeing their horrible 
vehicle and lent them his own coach, which doubtless was 
modest enough. (Private carriages were at this time new 
in Spain and the cause of such extravagance in fashionable 
society that Philip issued an edict restraining their use. 
The poets and story-tellers had their laughs at the craze. 

Que le dijo a su marido, " Quoth she unto her spouse, 

" Behold 

*' Con lo que la casa cuesta The rent of this our house all 


De alquiler echemos coche." Makes us a coach to go with- 

out 1 " 


Y volviendola a decir He turning quickly answered, 

" Pray 
Pues " i Donde hemos de vivir Without a house by night or 


Y estar el dia y la noche ? " What should we do ? Where 

could we go ? " 
Dijo, " Si el coche tuviera She said, " 'Tis plain, thou 

simple wight ! 
Sin casa vivir podria ; Had we a coach no house we'd 

need ; 
En el coche todo el dia All day we in the coach would 


Y de noche en la cochera." And in the coach-house pass 

the night.") 

Teresa would not loiter even with the Bishop, for she 
had resolved to open the new convent in two days' time 
on the Feast of the Assumption. It rained, and the roads 
were shocking, but they pushed on to Arevalo where they 
went to an inn for the night. 

Here Teresa found a letter waiting for her with the 
unwelcome news that she must not take her Sisters to the 
temporary house hired by Padre Julian,^ as the monks 
of the neighbouring Augustinian monastery objected to 
the close proximity of nuns. 

This was a great upset, but Teresa's courage always 
rose under difficulties. If the devil were beginning to 
make a pother it showed he was afraid of her ! She said 
nothing to the nuns but bade them settle down for the 
night. The Dominican, Fray Domingo Bafiez, the same 
who had helped in the troubles at Avila, was in the village, 
and Teresa sent for him to give advice. He offered to go 
and expostulate with the Augustinians, but Teresa feared 
this would cause delay, and talk, and opposition in the 
town. She was still undecided when next morning the 
eager Antonio de Heredia arrived, enthusiastic about the 

^ Padre Julian's account of the difficulties about the houses is not 
quite the same as Teresa's. 


tumble-down house he had bought in the Calle Santiago, 
lie begged Teresa to take her party straight thither ; 
eager herself, she decided to do so, but prudently sent two 
nuns, straight out of the Encarnacion and still dressed in 
cstamena instead of jcrga, to stay with friends for a fortnight. 
The rest of the party went on, Domingo Baiiez and 
Julian de Avila shaking their heads together over the 
rashness. Presently the travellers fell in with the house's 
former owner, the lady who had sold it to Antonio. She 
said her caretaker was still in residence, but gave Teresa 
a letter dismissing him and bidding him leave behind 
certain curtains and a blue damask bed which presumably 
he had been using. 

At midnight on the eve of the Assumption the party 
arrived at Medina, left the mules and the Bishop's carriage 
at Fray Antonio's monastery, and walked to the Calle 
Santiago, escorted by the good prior and two of his monks 
carrjdng lanterns. On the way they met bulls coming 
for next day's bullfight ; " but by God's mercy none of 
the nuns were attacked." A crowd was running after 
the bulls, and the party was jeered at and questioned, but 
eventually got to the house all safe, and with great diffi- 
culty waked up the caretaker. Teresa says she saw the 
ruinous condition of the walls, but not nearly so clearly 
as she saw it by daylight ; and it was evident that the 
Lord had seen fit to blind Fray Antonio's eyes that he 
might not perceive what a very unfit place was this for 
the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. The roof gaped ; 
the whole place was choked with rubbish, the walls were 
innocent of plaster. The nuns had brought nothing 
usable as decoration but three reposteros (horse blankets), 
quite insufficient to hide the cracks and the holes in the 
small ■portal (entrance court) which was to serve as the 
church. However, they found the caretaker's curtains. 


got them out and thanked God ; then remembered they had 
no nails and searched all over the walls for rusty old ones. 
Some hammered, some scrubbed the floor. When dawn 
came, everything was ready, the wall lined all round with 
hangings, the altar prepared with candle, book, and bell. 
The nuns assembled behind a door, using the chinks as a 
grating through which they could see and hear. Mass was 
celebrated and the Blessed Sacrament reserved in its place. 

This meant that on the appointed day, 15th August 
1567, the foundation was made ; there was another church 
in Medina, and there was another convent dedicated to 
the glorious San Josef. Great was the amazement of 
the town. Yesterday a ruin, a caretaker, and one blue 
bed ; to-day a nunnery, a chapel, a few nuns at their 
prayers, their leader, a woman of fifty-two, in poor health, 
but full of energy and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Wonder- 
ment spread, and crowds assembled to stare at the convent. 

Now came the usual reaction. Teresa looked at the 
broken walls ; she saw her cloistered nuns exposed to the 
public gaze ; she saw that the Blessed Sacrament was 
positively " in the street." She remembered the dangers 
of the times, and imagined Lutherans prowling through 
the city intent upon stealing and desecrating all that she 
held most sacred. Truly it had been a foolish enterprise, 
and she was a weak, presumptuous woman who had no 
right to count on the favours of God ! 

However, she kept her depression to herself and begged 
a priest sent to her by Baltasar Alvarez, at any cost to 
find her a lodging to accommodate the party while she got 
the convent house repaired. Medina was a lively populous 
town, well provided, full of people and bustle. But there 
was no furnished house to be hired anywhere. The nuns 
lived on in the ruin ; and at night Teresa herself guarded 
the Blessed Sacrament from the imaginary Lutherans. 


Her fears gradually subsided, for the populace proved 
quite gentle and reverent ; " indeed their devotion seemed 
stirred by seeing their Lord in that wretched place, more 
wretched than the manger at Bethlehem," After eight 
days, a rich citizen offered half his house to the nuns, and 
they moved thither and lived in comfort and seclusion 
till their convent was made habitable. 

In Santiago,^ hard by the new nunnery, dwelt Doiia 
Elena de Quiroga, niece of the Archbishop elect of 
Toledo, " a great servant of God " ; she undertook the 
repairs of Teresa's house, and built a proper chapel. 
She also watched over the general needs of the nuns and 
sent them food. The repairs were concluded in two 
months ; then Teresa took her nuns back, and sent for 
the two from the Encarnacion whom she had left behind. 
Soon several postulants came forward, one of them the 
daughter of Dofia Elena de Quiroga who was renamed 
Geronima de la Encarnacion. Dofia Elena herself took the 
veil a few years later when all her children were grown 
up ; and as Elena de Jesus became an important nun 
and prioress of Teresa's foundation at Toledo. 

Dofia Elena left her palace at Medina to the convent ; 
and in it the nuns live to-day. There I have visited them. 
The street is very quiet and solemn. The Convent of the 
Augustinian nuns faces the Convent of the Carmelites 
and both are neighboured by the wide patio of some great 
lady's palace. The portress lives now in what was the 
original convent, bought by Fray Antonio ; her grand- 
daughter, a pretty girl named Paula, took me past several 
barred windows and closed doors to the great entrance 
leading into a square covered court, adorned with rough 
frescoes, and an inscription giving the date and a few 

' Santiago — in Spain the streets are generally called merely by their 
names, the word Calle (street) being omitted. 


particulars of the foundation. Over the torno * is Teresa's 
beautiful advice to her nuns — 

" Let your desire be to see God, your fear that you 
may lose Him ; your grief that you do not enjoy Him, 
your joy in all which may lift you to Him. Thus you 
shall live in great peace." 

The nuns told me their number is nineteen and the 
convent house is very large and beautiful with patios 
(courts) and fine lofty cells ; — a real palace. The present 
parlour, in which I sat talking to the sisters behind the 
spiked grating, is that very vestibule where at dawn the 
first Mass was said amid the ruins. And above the present 
grating is the little window through which for eight nights 
Teresa watched the Blessed Sacrament. The church is 
spacious, with grilles larger than usual for the upper and 
the lower choirs, and the customary pictures and images. 
Through a torno in the sacristy the relics were passed for 
my devotion. Paula, who had not seen them before, was 
chiefly moved by those which to me seemed rather dis- 
tressing, a fact suggestive of interesting thoughts on the 
differences between points of view. I liked best two 
letters framed and glazed, some church embroidery worked 
by Teresa's fingers ; her well-thumbed breviary, and the 
convent account-books in which her signature comes over 
and over again. 

To return to the early days, — San Josef at Medina proved 
a highly successful convent. Money flowed in, the house 
was healthy and fairly comfortable. Some of the best 
nuns were trained there. But for a long time Teresa had 
no vision of her Lord, and she sighed. At last He appeared 
to her and she heard Him say, " Daughter, what sign 

^ Torno — the revolving hatch through which everything must pass 
to come in or out of the convent. Behind it and invisible sits the portress 


wouldst thou have, other than the miracle of this 
foundation ? " 

Fray Antonio de Hercdia, prior of the Calced Car- 
mehtes of Santa Ana, had shown himself a personage 
somewhat hasty, but very energetic, of strong will and 
great faith. All this was very attractive to Teresa. Now 
she told him of her project for founding a monastery of 
the Primitive Rule for men ; and showed her licence from 
Rubeo, the Carmelite General. Antonio entered into the 
idea with his usual zeal ; and declared he would himself 
be the first candidate for admission, the first Discalced 
Carmelite friar. Teresa thought he was jesting. But 
no ; he was perfectly serious. He said he had long been 
desiring a stricter rule, and to get it had thought of joining 
the Carthusians. Teresa still had doubts. Fray Antonio 
was delicate ; would he ever submit to the austerities 
she wished her friars to practise ? She refused to accept 
his candidature unless he would consent to a year's pro- 
bation in which he should remain at his office in Santa 
Ana, practising himself, however, the Primitive Rule. 

Antonio agreed, and got through the year in strict 
obedience, though he was opposed and slandered by his 
brother friars. 

Teresa was much pleased at having got one probationer ; 
soon she had found another. This was no less a person 
than the celebrated mystic, perhaps the purest and greatest 
of all the mystics who ever lived, Saint John of the Cross. 
At this time, bearing his family name, Juan de Yepes, he 
was a theological student at Salamanca university ; and 
like Antonio, was intending to join the Carthusians. He 
heard of Teresa's proposed monastery, and at once pre- 
sented himself to her as a postulant. Teresa, struck with 
his promise, accepted him joyfully. Juan de Yepes was 
however so modest, so young, so small, that speaking of 


him and Antonio, the smiling Teresa said she was getting 
on famously ; she had acquired a friar and a half ! 

At Medina she made another friend very unlike the little 
student or the enthusiastic prior of Santa Ana. This 
was a brilliant young noble, Don Bernardino de Mendoza, 
brother of Don Alvaro the Bishop of Avila, and of Doiia 
Maria de Mendoza, who was one of Teresa's patronesses. 
Don Bernardino made no profession of religion ; becoming, 
however, acquainted with the great Carmelite mother, 
he took a liking for her and interested himself in her work. 
He had a httle house at Rio d'Olmos near Valladolid 
which had been lent to his sister, Doiia Maria ; now he 
offered it to Teresa in case she wished to found a convent 
at Valladolid. The house did not seem particularly 
suitable, but Teresa was not the woman to refuse a good 
offer. Don Bernardino presented her with the formal 
deed of gift soon afterwards when she and Dona Maria 
were travelling under his protection from Medina to Alcala 
de Henares. 

This young man, Don Bernardino, died about a year 
later in circumstances which prevented his receiving 
extreme unction. He had lived a wild life, and Teresa 
entertained fears for his soul. But later when the convent 
had been founded in the house of his gift, she was com- 
forted by a vision which assured her of his salvation. 

Valladolid, however, had to wait for its convent while 
Teresa fulfilled some other engagements. 

First came the call from her earlier acquaintance, Maria 
de Jesus, who had founded the reformed Carmelite convent 
at Alcala. A saintly woman herself, she had erred in over 
severity. The convent was in a state of confusion, in-* 
subordination was rife among the nuns, the spiritual evils 
were aggravated by financial difficulties. Maria implored 
Teresa to come to her assistance. When the great mother 




arrived she was received by the nuns on their knees, all 
agreeing to accept her authority, while Maria dc Jesus 
herself handed over the convent keys. Teresa soon set 
matters straight in this establishment which was after- 
wards affiliated with the houses of her own founding. 
Maria lived till 1580, the year of the Universal Catarrh 
(influenza, I suppose). She died of the complaint after 
personally nursing her nuns through it. 

On the way to Alcala Teresa had paid her first visit 
to Madrid, invited thither by Doha Leonor de Mascarefias, 
to discuss an abortive project for founding a convent in 
the capital. This was a darling wish of Teresa's, but it 
was not accomplished till twenty years after her death, 
by her disciple and follower. Ana de Jesus. 

Doiia Leonor de Mascarefias was a woman of importance 
at the court, having been governess to Philip 11 in his 
childhood. She did not apparently make too good an 
impression on her visitor. Teresa thought herself invited 
out of curiosity, and was much tried by being exhibited 
to Madrid society as a lion. Natural pohteness made 
her courteous to the smart women who crowded upon 
her, but she would not consent to be drawn out for their 
amusement. When they asked her intrusive questions 
she diverted the conversation to the excellence of the 
Madrid roads. The smart ladies went away saying the 
nun seemed a good creature, but had not much of the 
saint about her ! 

\ K Teresa fled to the Convent of the Discalced Franciscan 
nuns, Las Descalzas Reales, whose prioress was the sister 
of Saint Francis Borja. This convent had been founded 
by the Infanta, Dona Juana de Austria, the king's 
widowed sister who was mother of the Portuguese King 
Sebastian. She had more than once been Regent of 
Spain during the absence of her father and brother, and 


was both capable and popular. But her heart was in the 
religious life, and she was almost conventual in her dress 
and manners, talking veiled with the State ofi&cials, though 
she allowed them to see her face for one moment that 
they might identify her as the princess. Dofia Juana 
herself made Teresa's acquaintance and spoke of her thus : — 
" Blessed be God, who has allowed us to see a saint whom 
we all can imitate. She speaks, sleeps, and eats as we 
do ; talks without ceremony or affectation of spirit. It 
is very plain she is taught of God ; she is so sincere, so 
unpretentious ; she lives among us as Jesus would have 

Remembering the spirituality of Teresa's inner life, this 
account is particularly interesting ; it suggests that horror 
of a pose which she shared with most really great people. 

From Alcala Teresa went on to Toledo to stay with 
her old friend Dofia Luisa de la Cerda. Curious it must 
have seemed to her to be again in that house which had 
been her shelter in her time of storm and stress. Now 
she was the successful foundress, the accredited saint. 
Indeed, Doha Luisa had sent for her to arrange the founda- 
tion of a third convent, on her estate at Malagon. 

Malagon was too smaU and too frivolous a place for 
any hope that a convent could succeed there if founded in 
strict poverty. Doha Luisa proposed to endow it with 
a fixed income. Teresa was distressed by the necessity 
for an income, and was consequently averse from the 
foundation. Domingo Banez, however, advised her to give 
way. The Council of Trent, he told her, had approved of 
the endowment of convents, and this being so she must 
not refuse the opportunity of serving the Lord. Teresa 
accepted this opinion ; perhaps agreed with it. But 
she remembered anxiously the history of many convents 
which had succumbed to the temptations of wealth, their 


nuns squandering themselves in superfluities ; just as 
nuns in extreme poverty must inevitably squander them- 
selves in the cares of providing daily bread. 

Before accepting Dofia Luisa's proposals Teresa made 
two stipulations which she hoped would reduce the tempta- 
tions of either extreme. She insisted that the fixed in- 
come should be a sufficient one, so that no begging at all 
should be required, every one being slow to help a charity 
already endowed. And she required that in the convent 
the obligation of Poverty should be strictly observed, 
notwithstanding the income. No nun must possess any- 
thing of her own ; the furniture and the fare must be 
limited to the merest necessity. 

Under this compromise, the Convent of San Jose at 
Malagon was opened in 1568 with five nuns from Avila. 
They had stayed a week in Doiia Luisa's palace in the 
town ; then on Palm Sunday they walked in procession 
to their convent, wearing their white capes, their faces 
veiled, all in the sight of a great crowd which was very 
solemn and devout. 

One of the first novices was Maria de Salazar, Doiia 
Luisa's young companion, who had been so much im- 
pressed at the time of Teresa's first visit to Toledo. She 
soon won the confidence of the saint, and afterwards 
was well known as Maria de San Jose, the prioress at 

The house at Malagon proved uncomfortably noisy, 
and after a few years Dofia Luisa provided a better one 
pleasantly situated in an olive yard, where the nuns were 
very happy for many years. 

Teresa liked her houses to be in pleasant places within 
sight of fields and sky. Running water she loved ; never- 
theless the house given her by young Don Bernardino de 
Mendoza for a convent at Valladolid proved a little too 


near the river, and though highly picturesque was so 
damp and unhealthy that the nuns were not able to live 
there long. This convent — Teresa's fourth, — its name 
Convento de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion — was opened 
in August 1568. 

Teresa was aware of the insanitary condition of Don 
Bernardino's house, but bodily health was not in her 
opinion of transcendent importance. The great thing, 
she thought, was to get a convent founded : if its house 
proved unendurable, the Lord would certainly at the 
right time provide for His servants. Her faith was justified. 
We hear of removals, but only of one convent's being 
abandoned, and that as shall presently be told, not for 
reasons of health. In the case of this Convent of Our 
Lady of the Conception, a new house was soon provided 
by Don Bernardino's sister. Dona Maria. The nuns 
are in it still. It is in the northern part of the large 
and busy — but not to-day especially interesting — town of 
Valladolid, near the bridge over the river Pisuerga. The 
building is long and low, with a high pitched roof and 
dormer windows. The parlour with its reja (grill) and 
picos (spikes) is as Teresa arranged it. Among the convent 
treasures are the MS. of the " Camino de Perfeccion," 1 — in 
excellent condition — her portrait (one of the three which 
claim to be the original, painted from life by Fray Juan 
de la Miseria) and various small personal objects, which 
help their beholder to realize her as a breathing homely 
woman — to all of us a sister who died not so very many 
years ago. 

Valladolid was the capital of Spain till Philip 11 moved 
the court to Madrid. The town suffered greatly in the 
Peninsular War and many of the oldest buildings were 

1 Teresa made two copies of this work herself. The older of the two 
is at the Escorial. 




destroyed. The university and several palaces and 
colleges arc instructive specimens of the plateresque 
style, which have not however the beauty of those at 
Seville and Salamanca. I have already referred to the 
splendid collection of coloured wooden figures — including 
a fine statue of Teresa — -in the Colegio de Santa Cruz. 
The great square, now all shops and loungers, was the 
scene of the autos de fe which made short work of heresy 
in Castille. I doubt they commended themselves to 
Teresa ; but she was too loyal a daughter of the Church 
to say a direct word against them ; and no doubt they 
helped to confirm her in her characteristic horror of 

The Convent of the Concepcion was one of the most 
successful. Maria Bautista (de Ocampo) Teresa's niece 
was long prioress there. The romantic story of Casilda 
de Padilla (in religion Casilda de la Concepcion) also 
belongs to the convent. She was a child of rank and 
wealth, betrothed, some say actually married, at ten or 
eleven to an uncle, kind enough apparently and regarded 
by her with considerable though perhaps childish affection. 
Even before talk of her marriage she had wished to be a 
nun ; and, to the annoyance of her relations, she became 
at eleven years old absolutely determined to carry out her 
wish, several times escaping from her governess, grand- 
mother, mother, or bridegroom himself, to the Carmelite 
convent whence she was removed by force or by govern- 
ment command, only to make her escape again on the 
earliest opportunity. The nuns sheltered her, and of 
course admired her vocation, but she was not allowed 
to take the habit till she was actually twelve years old, 
after which the husband had to reconcile himself to her 
loss. During her noviciate the husband used to come 
and argue with her at the grille, telling her she could 


serve God quite well as his wife, and might spend her days 
giving alms to the poor. Casilda would cry and say she 
was very sorry for him, but her call to religion was too 
strong to be resisted ; and she hoped he would give the 
alms to the poor for them both. Her relations made 
themselves very disagreeable about Casilda's large fortune, 
and in 1581 they got her away from the Carmelites 
to be abbess of an imposing Franciscan convent at 

The next foundation was of the greatest possible 
interest to Teresa ; that of the first reformed Carmelite 
monastery for men. Her " friar and a half " had long 
been waiting for this happy moment, Antonio de Heredia 
at Santa Ana of Medina performing the exercises of his 
year's probation, Juan de Yepes often with Teresa, who 
was instructing him in the rule she wished the future 
friars to observe. In June 1568, while Teresa was at 
Avila for a few days on her way to Valladolid, she was 
offered a house for her friars by Don Rafael de Avila 
Mojica, a gentleman whom she knew very slightly. The 
house was at Duruelo, a village near Avila, and had been 
occupied by Don Rafael's steward who " collected the 
bread due as rent." 

Teresa set off at once to inspect the house, accom- 
panied by one nun and her faithful chaplain, Julian de 
Avila. They started at sunrise, were soon broiled by the 
heat, lost their way, and met few and untrustworthy 
persons to direct them. The whole day they wandered 
hither and thither, and when they thought they had 
almost arrived found they had still many miles to go. 

" Never," says Teresa, "shall I forget the fatigues and 
the blunders of that wearisome day ! " 

At last at evening dusk they arrived. The aspect of 
the house was disconcerting. It was in the occupation 


of rough harvest folk and horribly dirty. Impossible to 
stay there for the night ! Small too ; a mere cottage. 
Just an entrance court, a tiny kitchen and one room over 
which was a dcsvan (an attic open to the roof) ! Teresa 
saw at once that the entrance court must be the chapel ; 
the dcsvan under the roof, the choir; the room below, the 
dormitory ; the kitchen, the refectory. But the companion 
nun (" much holier than I," says Teresa, " and a great 
friend of penance ") cried — 

" Of a truth, mother, there is no soul holy enough to 
endure it ! Come away ! " 

Padre Juhan agreed with the nun, but held his peace. 
They passed the night in the nearest church, so tired 
they could not keep their eyes open. Next day they 
went on to Medina and Teresa summoned her two friars. 

" The house is horrible," she said, " but if you have 
courage to go to it, God will remedy it somehow. To 
make a start is everything." 

Antonio and Juan said they'd go if it were to a pig 
sty ; and thought it might be easier to get the required 
consent of the Provincial if the beginning were modest, 
Antonio now undertook to beg money for the purchase 
of necessaries ; Teresa went to her work at Valladolid, 
keeping Juan with her ; and asked Don Alvaro de Mendoza. 
the Bishop, and Doiia Maria, his sister, to help in getting 
licence for the monastery from the present Provincial and 
from his predecessor, as stipulated by Rubeo the General. 
The licence was easily obtained : Antonio resigned his 
position as prior of Santa Ana, adopted the name of Antonio 
de Jesus and " went to his cottage with the greatest happi- 
ness in the world." Juan de Yepes, now called Juan de la 
Cruz, had already arrived. They threw away their shoes, 
refusing even alpargatas, and habited themselves in jerga. 
Soon they were joined by two novices. Fray Antonio 


said his begging had been most successful ; but he had 
not acquired so much as beds to sleep in. Only with 
clocks was he well provided, having got five that the Hours 
might be punctually observed ; " which," says Teresa, 
" made me laugh very much." They slept on hay, using 
stones for pillows, and decorated their church with skulls 
and paper crosses. They had to stoop to get through 
the doors, and in winter the snow drifted into the desvan, 
but they heeded no such trifles. 

After a few months Teresa came unexpectedly to visit 
them, and found Antonio sweeping the floor. 

" Why, father ! " she cried, " what do I see ? What 
has become of your dignity ? " 

" I curse the day I had any ! " answered Antonio. 

Tramping the mountains barefoot, the friars went about 
preaching. They made friends among rich and poor, and 
soon saw fruit of their labours. 

In the neighbourhood lived Don Luis de Toledo, Lord 
of the Five Hamlets {las cinco villas). He had built a church 
at Mancera to enshrine a beautiful Flemish picture of the 
Blessed Virgin which had come into his possession. Tliis 
picture was his pride and joy. He took Antonio de Jesus 
to see it ; and Antonio's devotion was so enkindled that 
Don Luis persuaded him to move the friars to Mancera, 
where he would build them a house, and the Church of the 
Blessed Virgin should be theirs. 

There seemed only one objection to this proposal ; the 
site was unprovided with any water supply. But one 
day Antonio, standing in the church cloister with his 
friars, a twig in his hand, made the sign of the Cross 
with it ; "or really," says Teresa, " I cannot be sure 
if it were even a cross ; but at any rate he made some 
movement with the twig, and then he said. Dig just here." 
They dug, and lo ! a plentiful fount of water gushed 

TT/i" VK. 







forth, excellent for drinking, copious for washing, and it 
never ran dry. 

Teresa, not having heard of " dowsing " has no explana- 
tion for this event ; she says cautiously : " The manner in 
which the Lord showed them this water was held to be 
a miracle." 

The friars were many years at Mancera, living in the 
greatest rigour and devotion. Their numbers grew, among 
them being a son of the Lord of the Five Hamlets. Event- 
ually the then Bishop of Avila, Don Lorenzo de Olayud, 
brought the monastery to Avila and endowed it liberally ; 
so that Teresa's first house for women, and her first house 
for men were both established in her native city. 


The first page of the manuscript of the "Book of the 
Foundations " runs thus : — 

" Jesus Maria. 
Comienza la Fundacion 
de San Josef del Carmen de Medina del Campo. 


De los medios por donde se comenzo a tratar de esta 
fundacion y de las demls. 
Cinco anos despues de la fundacion de San Josef de 
Avila estuve en el, que, a lo que ahora entiendo, me parece 
seran los mas descansados de mi vida, cuyo sosiego y 
quietud echa harto menos muchas veces mi alma. En 
este tiempo entraron algunas doncellas relisiosas de poca 
edad, a qiiien el mundo, d lo que parecia, tenia y a para 
si, sigun las muestras de su gala y curiosidad, sacdndolas 
el Senor bien apresuradamente de aquellas vanidades, 
las trajo d su casa, dotdndolas de tanta perfecion, que 


era harta confusion mia, Ilgando al numero de trece, 
que es el que estaba determinado, para no pasar mas 
adelante. Yo me estaba deleitando entre almas tan 
Santas y limpias, a donde solo era su cuidado de servir y 
alabar a nuestro Senor. Su Majestad nos enviaba alii 
lo necesario sin pedirlo, y cuando nos faltaba, que fue 
harto pocas veces, era mayor su regocijo ; alababa a 
nuestro Senor de ver tantas virtudes encumbradas, en 
especial el descuido que tenian de todo lo demas sino de 

Yo que estaba alii por mayor, nunca me acuerdo ocu 




AGREATco ntrast was th g^life oLepteiprize to which 
Teresa was now committed, with the long pre- 
ceHmg years 'of quiet and monotony. She did___ 
•not entirely\][ikeji,; less because it was really.uncQngeniaL- 
to her -natnrSTHhaiL-beGause it upset the idea she 
formed of a nun's place and duty. Sqmetimes she ques- 
tioned .il_she^ were doing well; but her^ moods of ddilbt- 
did not last long^ ETer General and through him her Lord, 
had said to her " Found." What could she do but obey ? 
And had not the Lord Himself bidden her, " Seek not 
enjoyment but to do My will ? " And another time, re- 
flecting on Saint Paul's words as to the seclusion of women, 
the Lord had said, " Take heed that you follow not one 
part of Scripture by itself ; but look also upon others." 
Nor did her soul suffer in result of her obedience and 
faith. The spirituality of her inner life was no less exalted, 
perhaps more healthy, than in the days when she had 
studied it exclusively. She still heard the voice of her 
Lord, she still felt His presence. Undisturbed by the 
turmoil of outward activity, she Hved internally in that 
state of quiet and habitual Union with God, which was her 
ideal and her aim. 

True to her belief that reformed convents were 

essential to the spread of God's kingdom, she no sooner 



saw opportunity of founding one than she set out to do it. 
For the new convent, she chose with the utmost care 
some five or six nuns whom she already knew, from one of 
her existing houses, others from the Encarnacion whence 
she had especial licence to withdraw two at a time. No 
nun went to a new convent except by her own consent ; 
and Teresa thanked those willing to help her with loving 
and humble words. Before setting out they all prayed 
fervently, each in her privacy ; then, together they re- 
ceived the Holy Communion. 

They travelled, sometimes on donkeys^ as a rule, in 
closed _ca rriag es_j3t^ more strictly ^e akin^ in cover ed_ 
carts^ I have had experience of tins sort of vehicle at 
Alba de Tormes ; it seemed rough to me, but Teresa 
chose it that her nuns might travel as mujeres princi- 
pales (ladies of position) and be treated on the roads 
and at the inns with respect. The nuns wore their veils 
down ; they carried a bell and kept their Hours as at 
home. At the times of silence, it was enjoined also on all 
the clerics, friars, seculars, servants, who accompanied 
the party, and Teresa gave prizes to those who observed 
the silence best. " When again allowed to speak," says 
Teresa, " it was pretty to see the delight of the serving 

Each day a different nun was appointed to give all 
orders and assume the general direction. In this way 
Teresa learned which of them had the gift of government 
and was suited for posts of responsibility. Arrived at 
an inn, they took a large room, where all the nuns could be 
shut in together, one of them being the portress. The rest 
of the party was lodged elsewhere. If the inn was so 
meagre that the nuns could not have a private room, 
reposieros were hung up to act as a screen. Teresa was 
the last to go to bed, and in the morning she wakened 


the Sisters herself. There was always a chaplain in the 
party, generally Padre Julian, and they had Mass daily. 
They carried Holy Water, an image of the Child Jesus, 
and a peculiar staff, which, with Teresa's rosary, is now 
among the relics of the Carmelite Fathers at Avila. 

At recreation time, Teresa entertained her companions 
with her delightful talk, drawing illustrations from the 
events of the way in piaticas de Dios (holy conversation) ; 
and the donkey boys and servants, used to swearing and 
gambling, would draw near that they might listen. So 
the journey proved no distraction to the pursuit of per- 
fection. In going or in staying, in business or in quiet, 
in work as in leisure, they followed after holiness, and 
remembered their profession. 

After Duruelo, Teresa's next enterprize was the founda- 
tion for women at Toledo ; and in this she had great 
difficulties to surmount. One Martin Ramirez, a rich 
merchant, a widower and childless, had died, leaving 
money for the foundation. The bequest was not in 
legal form ; its execution was left to his brother, Alonzo 
Alvarez. At first all seemed smooth — Alonzo wrote to 
Teresa begging her to come to Toledo as quickly as possible. 
She arrived with two nuns, staying of course with Dona 
Luisa de la Cerda, 

Presently Alonzo fell completely under the influence of 
a doubtless self-interested son-in-law, Diego Ortiz, who 
wanted to impose a number of conditions not in Teresa's 
opinion at all expedient to be accepted. The negotiations 
with Alonzo Alvarez Ramirez were broken off. But 
Teresa's tenacious mind had laid hold of the idea of this 
Toledo convent, and though she had lost the money she 
had no notion of abandoning the project. 

At this time the Archbishop of Toledo was that un- 
fortunate Carranza who languished for eighteen years in 


the Inquisition prisons. The business of his diocese 
was transacted by an Administrator, Don Gomez Giron, 
and a Council. These officials were rigid and self-im- 
portant : they regarded the foundation of a new convent 
with violent displeasure. For two months the Adminis- 
trator refused Teresa an interview ; then he permitted her 
to come and see him. Lo ! the usual thing happened ; 
Don Gomez was completely charmed by her. (Teresa 
says she rated him roundly.) He consented to whatever 
she asked, and before they separated himself drew up 
and signed a licence for the proposed convent. Teresa went 
out from the interview so much elated that she walked 
straight to a shop and spent all her money in necessary 
furniture for the nunnery ; that is to say, she purchased 
two altar pictures, two straw mattresses, and one blanket. 

In addition to having spent her money and lost her 
patron, Teresa had the further difficulty of being still 
without a house. After searching for three months she 
had seen nothing in the least suitable. She stood looking 
at her blanket and mattresses, and thinking what a rash 
woman she was, when a letter was received by her from a 
Franciscan friar of her acquaintance begging her to make 
use of the letter's bearer, a poor and slightly imbecile 
youth named Andrada. 

" Find me a house," said Teresa to this lad, astonishing 
her more prosaic nuns. 

Away went Andrada full of excitement ; next morning 
he re-appeared carrying a big door-key. Handing it to 
the reverend mother he said calmly — 

" I've taken the house, and come to help you move in." 

Teresa's breath was taken away. She went to look 
at the house and found it quite near, and, what was of 
more importance, habitable, at least for a commencement. 
At eleven that evening, 3rd May 1569, the nuns took 


possession. They worked all night and at sunrise crossed 
the court to the room that was to be their chapel — terrify- 
ing their neighbours who knew nothing of the house being 
let — and the first Mass was said. 

Afterwards there were difficulties with the owner who 
had not been aware she was letting for a convent. Teresa 
admits she had been in too great a hurry to perceive 
the faults of the house ; " but the Lord puts one in that 
kind of stupor when He wants a thing done." There 
were difficulties too with the Diocesan Council, who said 
the Administrator was " infatuated about the little 
woman," and had overstepped his province in giving her 
the licence. Money was terribly short and for several 
days they had no furniture but the two mattresses, no 
bread, and not enough fire to fry their one sardine. Why 
Dofia Luisa did not assist them was a mystery. Teresa 
could only suppose God withheld her hand, that His servants 
might be tested by the poverty they professed to admire. 

It was Alonzo Alvarez Ramirez himself who came to 
the rescue. He forgot his displeasure and heaped such 
plenty on the convent that Teresa thought God was 
now putting His servants to the test of riches. Presently 
Alonzo handed over his brother's legacy, Teresa having 
conciliated him with the promise of a family tomb by the 
high altar of the convent church. Objection had been 
made to this arrangement on the grounds that Ramirez 
was not a caballero (gentleman) ; but the Lord spoke to 
Teresa, telling her that lineage was a thing of no account ; 
and she would err greatly if she let herself be ruled by the 
conventions of the world. 

The legacy enabled the convent to purchase within a 
year an excellent house — one of the best in Toledo ; and 
the Church of the glorious San Josef became a great 
favourite with the whole town. But, unhappily, of the 


nuns Teresa had brought to this convent only one per- 
severed ; the others returned to the Mitigated Rule. 
After this, she refused to accept candidates from other 
Orders or from the Calced Carmehtes, unless under very 
exceptional circumstances. 

She soon had admirable novices from Toledo itself. 
One of these, Ana de la Madre de Dios, forty years of age, 
had been very wealth}^ very delicate, very luxurious ; 
" now she lived in penury and asperity, and the Lord 
accepting her penitence and devotion, gave her excellent 
health." She wanted to hand over her whole fortune to 
the convent, but Teresa hesitated long before accepting it. 

Yepes, the biographer, tells several stories of this 

A young lady, zealous in all religious observance, 
asked to be admitted as a postulant. Teresa alone had 
doubts as to her vocation. All was arranged for her 
admission when she remarked — 

" I've got a Bible which I'll bring with me." 

Alas ! Teresa had the defects of her qualities ! To 
her, unauthorized Bible-reading savoured of presumption. 

" A Bible, child ? Nay then, I beseech you take 
yourself off ! We have no place for you and your Bible. 
We are only a company of ignorant women fit just to 
spin, and to do what we're told." 

The girl was not allowed to come. She was inquisitive, 
she was opinionated, she was unstable. Her subsequent 
career justified Teresa's reading of her character. For she 
joined certain other spiritually adventurous beatas, fell 
into folly, was seized by the Inquisition, and eventually 
perished in an auto de fe. Poor, thinking-for-herself young 
girl ! born in the wrong century and the wrong land ! 

Two other stories suggest slight unpopularity in Teresa's 
early days at Toledo. 


Before the foundation was effected, she was one day 
at Miiss in the Jesuit Church, muffled in her white cape. 
A woman at her side dropped her chapin (patten or clog, 
made partly of leather) and accused the busybody nun of 
kneeling upon it. To emphasize her remarks, she snapped 
off its fellow and with it struck the Carmelite a great blow 
on the head. 

" God bless her ! " said Teresa meekly to her com- 
panions, " she has almost beheaded me." 

After the convent was opened, a neighbour opposed 
and slandered the nuns. One day he walked with his 
brother on the Alcantara bridge — that wildly situated, 
splendid bridge, which spans the Tagus with a single arch — 
and lo ! there came towards him a horse, riderless, with 
no saddle nor bridle, and struck the slanderer to the 
ground and trampled on him, — " so that he died, or ever 
he could say ' God help me ' ; or know what horse it was, 
or whose, or whence, it came, or whither it went. And 
verily it is well to believe God sent that unbridled horse to 
punish him who had set no bridle on his tongue ; and 
to show those who persecute the successors of Elias and 
Eliseus that there be horses to destroy them, in place of 
the dogs and the bears who avenged the insults done to 
those prophets ! " 

Teresa was allowed no rest at Toledo. On the eve of 
Pentecost, one short fortnight after the foundation, she 
sat at supper with her nuns (all of them too happy almost to 
eat), when there came a loud knocking at the convent door 
already closed for the night. Unwillingly admission ot 
the torno was given to a squire of Dofia Ana, the Princess 
of Eboli, who delivered his message in hot haste. The 
Mother Teresa de Jesus was to start at once for 
Pastrana, and to found a convent there under the patron- 
age of the princess. 


Dona Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, was one of the 
greatest ladies in Spain. Related to Don Alvaro, the 
Bishop of Avila, and to Dona Luisa de la Cerda, and to 
the Dukes of Medina Coeli, she was the only child and 
heiress of her father, Don Diego de Mendoza de la Cerda, 
Count of Melita. At twelve years old she was married 
to a husband whom she did not again see till she was nine- 
teen. He was Ruy Gomez de Silva, a Portuguese noble- 
man, who as a child had been brought to Spain in the 
train of the Empress Isabel of Portugal. Ruy was 
attached to the household of Prince Philip ; the boys grew 
up together, and never gave up their intimacy or lost 
their mutual confidence and affection. When Philip 
came to the throne he showered offices and dignities on his 
friend, making him Counsellor of State, Contador Mayor 
of Castille, a grandee of Spain, Prince of Eboli, and Duke 
of Estremera and Pastrana. Philip also interested him- 
self in Ruy's marriage ; a bride from the great Velada 
family was first proposed, but finally the little Mendoza 
heiress carried off the prize. The couple did not live 
together till 1559 ; they had ten children, and probably 
the marriage was happy for no one has found anything to 
say about it. The young Queen Isabel of Valois was on 
intimate terms with Dona Ana, her constant companion at 
all fetes and hawking parties, dances, and unceremonious 
occasions, as is stated at length in a private journal of the 
queen's, written for her mother, Catharine de Medici. 
But after the death of Ruy Gomez — who had great 
influence over his wife, and is accused of having concealed 
her thousand faults — the princess's character seemed to 
change. She became violent and intriguing, neglectful 
of her children and somewhat light in her conduct. She 
was intimately connected with the Antonio-Perez affair, 
and was deprived of her liberty for twelve years, though 



allowed for most of the time to pass her captivity in her 
own castle at Pastrana. There is ground for suspecting 
+hat she was the mistress of Perez ; but the scandal which 
connected her name with the king's seems on examina- 
tion to have been a not even plausible invention. She 
died, still a prisoner, in 1592. Her picture shows her a 
fairly pretty woman with one disfigured eye, and her 
career is best explained by supposing she had been spoiled 
in her childhood, and allowed to grow up undisciplined 
and tyrannical. 

Teresa answered the squire who brought the princess's 
message, or rather command, that she would go to Dona Ana 
in a little while. The gentleman exclaimed in horror that 
would not do at all ! the princess was waiting at Pastrana, 
and if the foundress did not set forth to-morrow, would 
take dire offence. Teresa sent the man to get some 
supper, and said she would write a letter to his lady. 

The nuns crowded round their Mother, imploring her 
not to leave them. Teresa answered reassuringly; then 
knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, praying for wisdom to 
write her letter in such a way as not to annoy the princess. 

As she knelt it flashed across her mind how desirable 
it would be to gain the favour of the excellent Ruy Gomez, 
and through him of the king, for the reformed monas- 
teries ; and presently the Voice said to her — 

" Go ; and take with you your Rule and Constitutions." 

Teresa's energetic mind now fastened on the idea of 
doing what the princess asked. She rose and sent for her 
confessor, for she never acted on her own impulses or even 
on the supernatural command, without first seeking the 
direction of the Church. When her confessor — ignorant 
of the Voice, and fully informed of the difficulties — had 
also bidden her go, she hesitated no longer. It was the 
Lord's will. 


She went, leaving Toledo on Whit Monday, accompanied 
as usual by two or three nuns ; and as she went, she 
wondered why the Voice had bidden her take with her 
the Rule and the Constitutions. The reason was soon 

The way was through Madrid, and the travellers 
paused for a night at the palace of Dofia Leonor de Mas- 
carehas, with whom, presumably, Teresa had become more 

Dona Leonor received the party with warm welcome. 
A most fortunate accident, she said, had brought them ; 
for staying at a neighbouring inn, on his way to Rome 
on a matter connected with his spiritual career, was a 
certain hermit from El Tardon, his name Ambrosio Mariano 
de San Benito. He had with him a young member of 
the same community of El Tardon, Juan de la Miseria, 
remarkable for two reasons only : first, that he was alto- 
gether and entirely devoted to the older man, Mariano ; 
and secondly, that he seemed to have a very pretty gift 
for portrait painting. The two had been expressing a 
wish to see Teresa and consult her as to their plans. 

Teresa said she was quite willing to meet them ; and 
she remembered that before she set out, the Voice had 
said to her — 

" There is more in this journey than the founding of 
one more convent for women." 

This Ambrosio Mariano de San Benito became one of 
the principal champions of Saint Teresa's reform. In the 
picturesque group of her early friars it was he who had the 
greatest talent, if not the strongest character. That he was 
also unfortunately an Irreconcilable, more distinguished 
for zeal than for tact, for uprightness than for charity, shows 
that he was, in Teresa's vivid phrase, " A man, not an angel." 

His life was one long romance. An Italian, born at 


Bitonto 111 llie kingdom of Naples, lie was an engineer 
of practical genius, but also doctor of theology and doctor 
of law, learned in rhetoric, mathematics, and Latin, a 
fellow-student of the future Gregory xiii, and one of the 
orthodox champions at the Council of Trent. He was 
invited to Germany to take part in a theological dis- 
cussion, and there gained the notice of the Queen of Poland, 
who appointed him governor of her household. Tiring 
of that, he became a soldier, and by his genius contributed 
much to the victory of St. Quentin. All this time he was 
a sincerely religious man, already inclined to extremes. 
He bound himself with a vow of chastity, and later became 
a Knight of Malta. 

" To wean him from the world," says the chronicler, 
" the Lord suffered him to be accused of murdering a 
great person " ; he languished in prison for two years, 
was then brought to trial and acquitted, his accusers being 
clapped into prison in his stead, and kept till he begged 
their release. 

Mariano now became tutor to the child prince of Sulmona, 
and went with him to Spain, where Philip 11 recognized 
the man who had been so useful at St. Quentin, and set 
him to the great engineering task of making the Guadal- 
quivir navigable between Seville and Cordova. Mariano 
was, however, already thinking of leaving the world, and 
had put himself through Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exer- 
cises. At Seville he met Fray Mateo from El Tardon, 
a desert place in the vicinity, where a community of 
hermits lived, each in complete solitude, assembling only 
for Mass. Mariano was so much struck by Fray Mateo that 
he went to visit him at El Tardon. As he dismounted before 
the hermit's oratory, he broke the gilded sword which he 
had borne with great honour for twenty years ; and this 
accident he took as " a sign from heaven that he should leave 


the earthly for the heavenly militia." At once, therefore, he 
resolved to join the Sohtaries. His shadow, the faithful 
Juan de la Miseria — a simple creature, " much tormented 
by devils, but of exemplary life, and endowed with the 
gift of prophecy " — was with him ; together they stayed 
at El Tardon from 1562 to 1570, practizing great austerities, 
working with their hands, and listening to the simple 
preaching of Fray Mateo. 

After a time the pair were sent to Seville to arrange 
about the restoration of a valuable jewel which had been 
stolen from the queen, and given by the thief to Fray 
Mateo in the confessional. Mariano and Juan having 
begun to tell the story to the authorities in Seville — the 
Asistente'^ being absent — were at once accused of the 
theft themselves, and locked up in the gaol for the 
night. In the gaol was " a disconsolate sad man," a 
criminal under sentence of immediate execution. Mariano 
preached to, converted, and comforted the poor wretch, 
" having doubtless been sent by the Lord to the prison unto 
this end." For next morning the Asistenfe returned, and 
at once released the two hermits with profuse apologies, 
and the offer of many ducats in recompense for their 
detention, which offer Mariano refused to accept. The 
hermits stayed some time in Seville, keeping their Rule, 
and working as weavers. Mariano was becoming famous, 
and many persons went to him for spiritual direction, 
including one Nicolas Doria, a Genoese, of whom more 
anon. But simple Fray Juan found the turmoil of " that 
Babylon" too much for him, and he actually deserted his 
friend and ran away to a monastery at Jaen. Mariano 
at once went after him and brought him back, and the 
two never separated again. 

The king now summoned Mariano to Aranjuez, near 

^ Asistente — title of the Governor of Seville. 


Toledo, to carry out some irrigation works. The hermit 
was glad, as he wanted to get Philip's recognition of the 
hermits of Kl Tardon, and his intercession with the Pope 
for their continued independence. The Pope, in accord- 
ance with tiie decrees of tiie Council of Trent, had com- 
manded all hermits and solitaries to attach themselves 
to one of the regular Orders ; and Mariano was proposing 
to visit Rome, and supplicate the Holy Father for indulgence 
on this point for himself and his friends. 

At Aranjuez, however, he fell in with Ruy Gomez, 
the Prince of Eboh, who strongly advised him to obey 
the Pope's order, and promised that once he and his hermits 
had a recognized position, he would give them a monastery 
on his estate at Pastrana. It was at this moment that 
Mariano met Teresa de Jesus, at Madrid, in the house of 
Dofia Leonor de Mascarefias. 

She quickly interested him in the Discalced Carmelites, 
their aims and their life. Penitence, poverty, prayer — ■ 
this was exactly what the enthusiast desired ; what he had 
supposed impossible except under Fray Mateo at El 
Tardon. Especially did the obligation of poverty appeal 
to him. 

" The world," he said, " is lost through covet ousness, 
and this vice has been the ruin of all the religious Orders." 

Now Teresa knew why the Voice had bidden her take 
with her the Table of the Primitive Rule ! She gave it 
to the hermit to study. He carried it off to his inn. Fray 
Juan held the candle and Mariano read it aloud, trans- 
lating from the Latin. 

" Brother Juan ! " he exclaimed, " we have found what 
we seek ! This is the Order you and I must join ! " 

Next day Mariano visited Teresa again ; quite alarmed 
to find he had lost all interest in the journey to Rome, 
and the independence of the hermits ; specially alarmed 


that the sudden change in his opinions had been affected 
by a woman. 

" Absurd ! " cried Teresa ; " it is the Lord who changes 
hearts ! " 

Mariano told her he had made up his mind to join the 
Carmehtes of the Reform as it was practised at Duruelo. 
And the monastery promised by Ruy Gomez should be a 
monastery for those who wore the jerga and went barefoot, 
scourging themselves, and fasting, and preaching for the 
saving of souls. 

Teresa praised God, and at once wrote to the Bishop 
of Avila asking him to procure the necessary licences from 
the two Provincials for the foundation of this second 
house for Discalced Carmelite friars. Meanwhile she con- 
tinued her journey to Pastrana to carry out the foundation 
for the nuns. 

On arrival, Teresa was enthusiastically received by Ruy 
Gomez and Doiia Ana de Mendoza, his wife. Three 
months passed, however, before the convent was 
founded, great difficulties arising out of the waywardness 
and caprice of the princess patroness. Doha Ana con- 
sidered it her convent, and wanted many things done of 
which Teresa could not approve. Several times the thing 
was nearly given up. Ruy Gomez at last intervened, and 
persuaded his wife to allow the Carmelite Mother a free 
hand. Then Dofia Ana withdrew her pretensions, and 
soon all was ready. Teresa sent for nuns from Medina, 
the first Mass was said, postulants came forward. All 
seemed satisfactory. 

More easily started was the monastery for the friars, 
the Provincials sending the licence without demur, and 
Ruy Gomez being easy to deal with. Mariano summoned 
his brother hermits from El Tardon (most of whom came) ; 
Antonio de Jesus arrived from Mancera to teach the Rule ; 


the Prince of Eboli gave the jerga, and Teresa made 
(ho frocks and capes. Fray Baltazar de Jesus, a dis- 
tinguished preacher who was joining the new friars, 
said the first Mass, and reserved the Blessed Sacra- 

This monastery of Pastrana stood on a lofty platform 
at the meeting of three valleys in the proximity of savage 
and barren mountains. The site's highest point was 
already occupied by the ancient hermitage of Saint Peter ; 
a little lower down was the Palomar, a cottage surmounted 
by a dove-cot. This the new monks made their dwelling, 
the hermitage being their church. They had to go far 
down the hill to fetch water, but Mariano's knowledge of 
hydraulics, added to 400 ducats from Ruy Gomez, soon 
remedied this. The Palomar was enlarged ; even then 
" the cells were narrow as graves." A vaulted passage 
adorned with crosses and images led to the church. Later a 
Brother saw in a vision that the vaulting was about to 
give way. He hastily rescued its furniture, and the fulfil- 
ment of the vision took place. 

This monastery became celebrated in the Order, many 
of its chiefs being trained there. The discipline was of the 
strictest, the austerities practised by the friars becoming 
a byword. Teresa repeatedly urged moderation. The 
first prior was Baltazar de Jesus, the preacher ; he did 
not get on with the novices, and Antonio de Jesus sent 
Juan de la Cruz to assist him. 

Juan did not, however, stay long ; for now the Dis- 
calced Carmelites had another enterprize in hand : the 
founding of a College at the University of Alcala to train 
priests for their branch of the Carmelite Order. The 
founding of this College was the first public event in their 
history, and drew all Spain's attention. The students, 
with Juan de la Cruz as their Rector, kept the Primitiv, 


Rule, and astonished the whole University by their asceti- 
cism and zeal. 

The Pastrana nuns got on pretty well till the year 
1574, when Ruy Gomez, the Prince of Eboli, died. This 
event was a disaster for the convent, and led in the end to 
its uncomfortable notoriety as Teresa's one failure. 

For the princess, in a passion of grief at the death of 
her husband, hastily resolved herself to take the veil. 
Baltazar de Jesus and Mariano had been with the prince 
at his death ; now Dona Ana insisted on their giving her 
the habit and driving her to the convent in a cart, her 
grief, she said, being too great to admit the use of a 

" The Princess a nun ? " cried Isabel de Santo Domingo, 
the prioress ; " then we are all lost ! " 

So indeed it proved. The novice spent a few days in 
desperate fervour (combined with ostentation, for she 
made the nuns approach her on their knees) ; then began 
to find the life very trying, and sent for her friends to 
amuse her. She ordered a special door to be knocked in 
the wall for their admission, the privacy of the nuns was 
destroyed, the convent turned upside down, and dis- 
obedience commanded on those points about which 
she had already tried to quarrel with Teresa. In 
vain the prioress objected. Doha Ana said the convent 
belonged to her, and she intended to do what she 

Teresa wrote, and various ecclesiastics went to remon- 
strate. The king interfered; and told the lady she ought 
to be looking after her ten children instead of worrying the 
nuns. The only result was that she wrote an insolent letter 
to His Majesty. Philip now set the Royal Council at her ; 
and finally in great dudgeon she was forced to resume 
her worldly dress and to return to her palace. She 


revenged herself by persecuting the nuns, withdrawing all 
alms from the convent which she had undertaken to 

At last Teresa bade the prioress dissolve the community 
and bring the nuns to her at Segovia. Isabel de Santo 
Domingo sent for the Corregidor, asking him to make an in- 
ventory of the furniture, put in a caretaker, and arrange for 
the nuns' journey. At dead of night they escaped, having 
walked to a place outside the town where the Corregidor 
had vehicles waiting for them. They drove away into the 
darkness. It was Holy Week, the season inclement, 
the rivers in flood ; the road led through the wildest 
and most mountainous district. However, they arrived 
safe, and were welcomed by their beloved Mother and the 
nuns of Segovia, who had been praying for them. When 
the Princess of Eboli found that the birds had flown, 
she wrote furiously to Teresa demanding her furniture. 
Teresa referred her to the Corregidor, and never had 
communication with the lady again. 

She had learned to distrust Dofia Ana, whether in the 
character of patroness or of friend. For she had already 
done Teresa, whom she professed to admire, another singular 
disservice. The precious Vida, the so-called Autobio- 
graphy, intended only for Teresa's confessor, had fallen 
into the hands of the princess. She promised that no one 
but her husband and herself should see it ; nevertheless 
left it lying about at the mercy of her waiting women and 
pages ; and spoke of it herself with ridicule. Finally it 
was denounced to the Inquisition, probably at her instiga- 
tion ; and though that formidable body eventually 
approved it, Teresa could not but await the judgment 
with the greatest anxiety. 

In this same year, 1570, Teresa had her memorable 
vision of the martyrdom of the forty Jesuit missionaries 


on the high seas, which she described minutely to Baltasar 
Alvarez ; a remarkable instance of what would now be 
called clairvoyance. 

It was altogether a full and interesting year in her 
history and that of her Order. The same day that the 
College was opened at Alcala, Teresa founded another 
convent for women at Salamanca, the beautiful town of 
the sister-University. 

No one who has seen Salamanca will ever forget it. It 
remains in the memory as a golden, a fairy city ; for all 
the splendid towers and domes, and carved fa9ades, and 
sculptured and moulded doors and windows, are built of 
that rich cream-coloured sandstone which in the afternoon 
light shines like gold. The New Cathedral, in use since 
1560, is one of the most exquisite in Spain, with its com- 
bined majesty and lightness, its lovely glass, its long 
vistas of what seems coloured air. The plateresque 
work of the University, its quadrangles and arcades and 
wide sculptured stair, are justly admired. Of old world 
memories made visible, what is more touching than the 
classroom of the poet-philosopher Fray Luis de Leon, left 
just as he used it ? or, in the Cathedral, the Cristo de las 
Batallas — the conquering crucifix of Rodrigo Diaz, the Cid 
Campeador ? 

At this foundation, the difficulties to be overcome were 
strangely few. Teresa obtained the licence without 
difficulty from the Bishop — another Mendoza, son of the 
Duke of Infantado, one of Philip's admirably chosen 
prelates — ; even a house was found at once ; the only 
problem being how to evict a party of university students 
who were living in it. 

Teresa gives an amusing account of her first experiences 
under this roof. 

It was the night of All Saints ; the house was large 


rambling, littered, and dirty. The students had only just 
left. There was no furniture, no light but from the moon. 
Teresa and one elderly companion nun were left alone. 
The companion, Maria del Sacramento, became a prey to 
panic. Her first fear was that some of the students were 
hiding in the attics, and intended to jump out on the nuns 
at dead of night. While Teresa was busy raking up all 
the straws she could find to make some sort of a bed, 
upon which she disposed the two white capes for blankets, 
Maria roamed from room to room looking for the boys 
in every corner. At last Teresa persuaded her to barricade 
the door of the room and come to bed. Now a worse 
fear assailed the poor lady. Ghosts ! Was it not All 
Saints' night ? Her hair stood on end : she caught her 
companion's hand while her eyes stared fearfully into 
space. Teresa found herself catching the infection of panic. 

" What is it ? What are you looking at ? What do 
you see ? Is there any one in the room ? " 

Maria was ashamed to suggest ghosts. She racked her 
brains for an answer. 

" Reverend Mother, I am thinking whatever would 
you do all alone here if I were to happen to die ? " 

Teresa shuddered. She had a quick and vivid imagina- 
tion, and this picture of herself in the eerie house alone 
with a corpse was horrible. At this moment a bell tolled, 
and her heart came into her mouth. 

Then she perceived that the demonio, finding she wasn't 
afraid of him, was trying to make her afraid of something 
else. She pulled herself together and replied 

" Sister, when the accident you speak of takes place, I 
will consider what to do. At present, let us sleep." 

And sleep they did right soundly ; and in the morning 
the ghosts were laid. 

That house was not a great success. It was unhealthy ; 


and because there was no proper place for it, the nuns 
were denied the consolation of the presence of the Blessed 
Sacrament. Teresa, engaged in important duties at Avila, 
was not able to return for three years. Then she came, 
and moved the convent to a better residence, where it 
flourished for many years. This second journey to Sala- 
manca took place late in August 1573. Teresa was in a 
hurry, for Michaelmas Day drew on when houses change 
hands, and the present convent-house was already let. 
Escorted as usual by Padre Julian, Teresa and her com- 
panions travelled on donkeys by Peiiaranda — the route 
the coach takes now. All night they journeyed ; and 
the mule carrying the money for the purchase of the new 
house strayed in the darkness. The loss was not dis- 
covered till the morning, when a general wail went up ; 
but before Teresa was in despair — if she ever was in despair 
— a little boy found the animal peacefully grazing on the 
hillside, his burden safe on his back. 

Next night the money-mule was guarded more success- 
fully, but the beloved Mother Teresa herself got lost, which 
was a disaster far worse than the last. The party had 
got separated in the dark ; Padre Julian went to bring 
up the stragglers ; while he was gone Teresa wandered 
from the place she had been told to wait in, lost her way, 
and was not recovered for more than an hour. 

It is rath^_pkajajit_^to_know_thatx^reat woman as she 
was^s^e had some feminine weaknesses — a bad bump of 
Jocalit^, and a touch of impatience wh_en_ asked to 

Michaelmas Eve came ; the new house, though taken, 
was not ready. The nuns had to vacate the old one. 
Downpours of rain descended in the night, flooding the 
church which was still unroofed. In the waterspout it 
was impossible to transport the furniture. And the whole 



town had been invited to the opening ceremony on the 

" I tell you, daughters," writes Teresa in her Book of 
the Foundations, " I was very wicked that day ! I did 
not know what to do, and I said to the Lord quite crossly, 
' Either give me not these labours, or else help me in my 
necessities ! ' " 

But a citizen, Nicolas Gutierrez, who had been a 
friend all through, said quite calmly that it was all right, 
as the Lord would provide. And true enough at the 
important moment the sun shone out, and a great con- 
gregation assembled, and there was solemn music and a 
procession, and the Blessed Sacrament was put in its 
place. And the sun shone also in Teresa's heart, for she 
saw how much wiser that good man had been with his 
simple faith than she with all her anxiety. 

The convent is to-day in a different part of the town. 
The house is spacious and comfortable, with a large huerta 
and, I thought, more light and air than I had observed in 
other convents. The motto in the entrance-hall pleased me. 

Hablaras con sumision 

Entrando en la porteria, 
Que no adraite voceria 
La casa de religion. 

Let thy words be with sub- 
Thou who enterest this spot. 
For this house here of reUgion 
Loud-voiced talk admitteth not. 

I visited also the original house, which had been in- 
habited by the students. It is in the heart of the town, 
and is now a convent of the Siervas de San Jose, nuns of the 
Active Life devoted especially to teaching the children of the 
poor. Here I was admitted without the formalities of the 
torno and the rcja. I saw the whole house, which I 
thoroughly enjoyed, as in the Carmelite convents I was not 
allowed to see more than the entrance-court with its torno, 
the locutorio or parlour, with its grille, and the church. In 


the green and pleasant court with its open gallery and wide 
staircase, in the chapel, once Teresa's cell, in the simple 
refectory and the rambling, irregular, small rooms still 
the cells of nuns, I was able to picture the great Mother 
and her spiritual children as they lived their hidden life 
within those walls more than three centuries ago. Especi- 
ally I conjured up before my eyes that scene when at 
even time the nuns assembled to sing a hymn ; and one 
of them, Isabel de Jesus, sang the solo verse so sweetly 
and with such devotion and such joy, that Teresa, 
watching her and listening as she sang — 

Veante mis ojos. Could mine eyes but see Thee, 

Dolce Jesus bueno, Jesus, sweet and kind, 

Veante mis ojos Could mine eyes but see Thee, 

Muerame yo luego. Death I straight would find I 

fell into an ecstasy ; and for several days so felt the 
gladness of it that truly she " walked with inward glory 
crowned." And I remembered, too, that it was at the 
death-bed of one of the nuns in this house, that Teresa 
saw that beautiful vision of the Lord with His hands out- 
stretched in protection, and heard His voice telling her 
He would thus be the support and the Saviour of all who 
should die in that His house. 

The foundation of one more convent is included in this 
part of Teresa's life, that of Alba de Tormes. To it 
belongs the pathetic interest that in it eleven years later 
Saint Teresa died. 

In the early part of 1571 she had received a message 
through her brother-in-law, Juan de Ovalle, from Sefior 
Francisco Velasquez the Duke of Alba's Contador (Ad- 
ministrator), saying that his wife wished to establish a 
convent for Discalced Carmelites at Alba. 

This lady, Teresa de Laiz, of noble birth and the " clean 
blood," had been brought up in great retirement by 


parents poor though proud. Her early piety was remark- 
able, and she had thought of the virgin life ; but falling 
in love with Francisco Velasquez, she consented to marry 
him. The marriage was entirely happy, except that there 
were no children, and Teresa de Laiz wept like Hannah 
of old, and prayed that the Lord would remove this cross. 

One night she had a remarkable dream, in which she 
seemed to be in the open court of some house she did not 
know ; and in the court was a well, and round it a green 
sward covered with fair white flowers. And by the well 
stood Saint Andrew, and he pointed to the flowers and said — 

" Other children are these than those thou hast desired." 

When she awoke she understood that the white flowers 
were the white souls of saintly nuns, and that she was 
to found a convent and be the mother of spiritual children. 

Soon afterwards Teresa de Laiz moved with her husband 
from Tordillos to Alba, and in the house he had taken for 
her recognized the patio and the well of her dream. Then 
she understood that this house was to be the convent. 

For some time she hesitated as to the Order to which 
her nuns should belong ; but at last her confessor, a 
Franciscan, told her of the Carmelite, Teresa de Jesus, 
and her houses of cloistered nuns who lived very literally 
in communion with God. 

So Francisco Velasquez sought his neighbour, Juan 
de Ovalle, and begged him to invite that great saint his 
sister-in-law, that the scheme of the new convent should 
be discussed with her. No time was lost. Teresa came ; 
travelling from Salamanca over the gentle hills and 
wooded coverts — which two and a half centuries later 
were to be the scene of a memorable battle — to the pic- 
turesquely situated town of Alba. It lies in a semi- 
circle along the wind-swept ridge of a low cliff guarded by 
the wide river Tormes and a Roman bridge of six and 


twenty arches. The now ruined castle of the Dukes of 
Alba dominates the town. In the sixteenth century it 
was in its magnificence ; Teresa alludes to a visit she once 
paid there to the Duchess of Alba and all the fine things 
she saw. She knew the duchess well ; but never hap- 
pened to meet the duke, who was away at his wars. It 
is recorded that he was a student of her writings, however, 
and had expressed a great wish to make her acquaintance. 

Nowadays Alba is chiefly interesting as a place of 
pilgrimage, for it contains Teresa's tomb. The stern 
walls of the Carmelite Convent attract the quick notice of 
the stranger ; the convent bell rings solemnly at all hours. 
The farmers and grain merchants, the little shopkeepers 
in the arcaded square, the grave-faced handsome girls 
who carry the amphora on their heads, as is not very 
usual in Spain, all talk of " Our Saint " as if she was still 
among them, a moving presence, an unseen blessing. 
It may be fancy, but the very nuns seemed to me more 
like the women I read of in Teresa's pages than the nuns 
of the other houses. 

In the Convent Church where the great Mother has her 
own resting-place are the beautiful marble monuments 
of Francisco Velasquez and Teresa de Laiz his wife. Near 
them are the monuments of Juan de Ovalle and Juana de 
Ahumada, and the little child who had died at Avila and 
in Teresa's sight been carried to heaven by the messengers 
of God. 

The Carmelite Friars now live in Juan de Ovalle's 
house ; whither Teresa came in January 1571, to arrange 
with Teresa de Laiz for the foundation of the Convent 
of Our Lady of the Annunciation. It was opened on the 
25th, a sufficient income being guaranteed by Francisco 
Velasquez and his wife, who themselves moved into 
another house. 




ABOUT the year 1570, Pius v appointed Apostolical 
Visitors to go to Spain and inspect the ReHgious 
Orders. Two Dominicans were chosen for the 
CarmeUtes ; Padre Francisco de Vargas to go to Anda- 
lucia ; Padre Pedro Fernandez to Castille. 

Fernandez arrived prejudiced against Teresa de Jesus, 
and determined to visit San Jose in Avila as early as pos- 
sible. One interview with the saint was enough to change 
his opinion of her. He came away saying she was a 
mujcr grande (a great woman), who had performed seem- 
ingly impossible tasks and had demonstrated that nuns 
could live according to evangelical perfection. He resolved 
to make use of her in the changes he wished to introduce 
among the Carmelites. 

Shortly before the Dominican's visit, Teresa had 
fallen into a dispute with Angel de Salazar (again Pro- 
vincial) about the dowry of one of the Medina nuns. 
Salazar was annoyed. He angrily commanded Teresa 
to leave the convent at once and to take with her the 
prioress, Inez de Jesus. In the post of authority he 
placed a nun who proved quite unsuitable, and who pre- 
sently deserted her office to return to the Mitigated Rule. 
The convent was naturally agitated, and Salazar much 
chagrined. The first command laid upon Teresa by 


Fernandez, the Apostolical Visitor, was to go at once to 
Medina and herself take up the vacant office. Her quick 
success in restoring calm to the excited convent, deter- 
mined Fernandez to entrust to her a yet more difficult 
and even important task. 

This was to reorganize and reform her own old convent 
of the Mitigated Rule, the Encarnacion of Avila, which had 
been going steadily downhill both spiritually and financi- 
ally since Teresa and many of the best nuns had left. 
With the consent of the heads of the Order, Fernandez 
decided to send Teresa de Jesus there for three years as 

It was a high-handed measure interfering with the 
right of the convent to elect its own prioress. Teresa for 
many reasons was greatly distressed when she heard of it< 
and very unwilling to take up the office thus thrust upon her. 

Her mood was changed by one of the most beautiful 
of the revelations she received, as she believed, from 
Heaven. Here is her own account : — 

" I was one day praying to God for one of my far 
absent brothers, and I said to the Lord — I think perhaps 
only in thought — ' Why is he allowed to be in a place 
where his soul stands so imperilled ? Lord, if I saw one of 
Thy brothers in like danger what would I not do to save 

" And the Lord answered me, ' Oh daughter, daughter ! 
They of the Encarnacion are My sisters, and you wish not 
to go unto the help of them ! ' " 

After this Teresa demurred no longer. She accepted 
the post, recognizing that it was God's will for her. But 
before leaving San Jose she made a solemn and formal 
renunciation for herself of the Mitigated Rule, the 
atmosphere of which she was again to breathe at the 


Within the convent there was loud - voiced dismay. 
The unwelcome prioress would assuredly lock the door of 
V:he parlour, would upset all the liberties which were the 
<lelight and the pride of the nuns ! It was resolved to 
jppose her entrance. 

Of course the worldly holy townsfolk of Avila took up 
the matter. The Encarnacion nuns were popular ; their 
friends banded together, men no less than women, pro- 
mising assistance in the coming fight. Fernandez ordered 
the Provincial himself to instal Teresa in her position. 

The day came. Salazar, who had got over his fit of 
temper at Medina, accompanied the new prioress to the 
Encarnacion, assembled a Chapter in the Lower Choir, 
and read out the Patents which appointed Teresa de Jesus 
ruler of the convent. It is easy to imagine the scene : 
the long narrow room at right angles with the church ; 
Father Angel doing his duty but not at his ease ; Teresa 
by his side with meek downcast eyes, quiet resolution in 
her manner, valour in her heart ; the angry nuns ready to 
rebel, but some of them already wavering at sight of her. 
Outside the convent waited a party of caballeros seeking 
opportunity to join in the fray. 

The Provincial ended his reading ; then the tumult 
broke forth. The nuns shouted, many with vituperation 
and abuse, that they refused submission. Nevertheless, 
Salazar and his chaplain forced a way through the furious 
crowd, and dragged Teresa into the convent. Then 
Catalina de Castro, one of the small minority friendly to 
the new prioress, sang very loud, Te Deuni laudamus. 
A few joined their voices to hers, snatching up a cross 
and forming themselves into a bodyguard round Teresa. 
The rebels redoubled their cries. The noise was over- 
whelming, and the poor Provincial, alone in the crowd of 
excited women, turned pale with horror and indignation. 


Arrived at the Upper Choir, Teresa knelt a few moments 
in prayer, then rose to plead for the rebels. Observing 
that several had fainted, she went to their assistance, 
touching them with a relic of the True Cross which she had 
with her. Insensibly the storm abated. 

The Provincial now took his leave, feeling that Teresa's 
tact and charm could do more than his authority. 

She lost no time in convening her first Chapter. The 
nuns attended unwillingly, fearing reprisals. As Yepes 
picturesquely puts it, they filed into the Lower Choir 
where the Chapters were held, expecting to find the prioress 
with sword unsheathed, ready to begin slashing off arms 
and legs, and beheading time-honoured abuses. 

Teresa was not in the prioress's stall. She sat on a 
little stool below it. In the stall she had placed the figure 
of the Blessed Virgin, the true head of the convent, whose 
deputy and servant the prioress must be ; and in Our 
Lady's hand were the convent keys. The nuns took 
their places with throbbing hearts. Already the victory 
was half achieved. Then Teresa rose and spoke : — 

" Ladies, my mothers and my sisters ; Our Lord has made 
it matter of obedience for me to come to this house and 
fill this office, which was neither my expectation nor my 
desert. The appointment has been a great sorrow to me, 
not only because it has laid on me a task which I shall not 
know how to perform, but because your right of election has 
been taken from you, and you have been given a prioress 
against your will and wish ; a prioress who will do well if 
she learn the virtues of the lowliest one among you. I come 
only to serve and to make you happy in so far as I can, and 
in this I trust the Lord will give me His help. Ladies, 
whatever is in my power I am willing to do for you, even 
to the shedding of my blood and the gift of my life. I am 
a daughter of this house ; I am the sister of you all. 


I know the conditions and the needs of at any rate the 
greater number of you, and you have no need to fear one 
so much one of yourselves. Though I have been hving 
and governing among the Discalccd, I know well how 
those who are not discalced should be governed. My 
desire is that we should each in our manner serve the 
Lord with quietness ; and that the Httle laid upon us 
by our Rules and Constitutions we should do for the 
love of that Lord to whom we owe so much. Our weakness 
is great ; but that which we cannot attain by deeds, at 
least let us attain to it in desire ; for the Lord is long- 
suffering, and little by little He will make our works to 
equal our goodwill." 

The nuns were silent. All opposition ceased. Teresa 
was accepted. Her will became law. She said nothing of 
punishment for the rebels. If she began her reforms at 
once it was with the utmost gentleness. She set the 
temporal affairs on a better footing, her talent in organiza- 
tion including a pronounced gift for economics. She was 
anxious in her care of the sick ; the sad found her always 
sympathetic and accessible. Soon the most vehement 
among her foes were firmest among her friends. She 
made no change as to the reception of visitors ; till one 
day of their own accord the nuns brought her the key of 
the locutorio, and requested her to do with it whatever 
she wished. . Then indeed she put a stop to all the un- 
seemly frivolity and worldly merry-making, and the nuns 
acknowledged that she was right. 

But that party of caballeros outside, who had effected 
nothing in the quarrel, now thought they had a genuine 
grievance ; and deputed one of their number to remon- 
strate with the prioress and overwhelm her with insolence. 
Three times this champion was refused admission ; then 
Teresa came herself and spoke to him with such a com- 


bination of severity and of gentleness, that he retired 
abashed, and neither he nor his fellows ventured to intrude 
upon the nuns again. 

Teresa installed as Directors two of the Discalced 
Fathers : Juan de la Cruz and German de San Matias. 
They assisted her in the work of reformation, and their 
united efforts met with such success that after six months 
the observance and the devotion at the Encarnacion was 
little behind that of San Jose. Teresa herself was so 
much beloved that three years later at the next election 
the nuns voted unanimously for her continuance as 
prioress. Changes of circumstance, however, prevented 
the heads of the Order from accepting the vote. 

At the time Yepes wrote (1559), the Encarnacion 
Convent was still excellent in every way, though indeed 
many nuns had left it and followed Teresa to a stricter Rule. 

At the present time the difference between this con- 
vent and those of the Discalced CarmeUtes seems chiefly 
technical. As a visitor I was received with the same 
formalities as at San Jose, and to my disappointment 
was not allowed to penetrate beyond the parlour. The 
cell Teresa used as prioress is not shown. There are 
framed notices in the parlour of some of her visions, and of 
how in this room she had conversed with Saint Peter of 
Alcantara and Saint Francis Borgia. Of the rehcs, the 
one I found most touching was a rough picture of the 
crucified Christ drawn by Saint John of the Cross as he 
had seen his Lord in a vision. 

One more extract is quoted both by Yepes and Ribera 
from Teresa's own account of her three years as prioress at 
the Encarnacion. 

" On the eve of Saint Sebastian in the first year of my 
holding this office, just as the Salve was beginning, I 
saw the Mother of God descend to the chair of the prioress 


where I had placed her image. She was surrounded by a 
multitude of angels, and she took her seat there. Truly 
this time it was not the image I saw in that seat, but Our 
Lady herself ! And on the divisions of the stalls and on the 
desks were many angels ; yet they had no corporal form 
for I saw them in intellectual vision. Thus it was all 
through the Salve. Then she spake to me : ' You did 
well in placing me here. I will be present at the praises 
you give my Son, and I will present them to Him.' And 
after this in my prayer, my soul was lifted to the Most 
Holy Trinity ; and it seemed to me that the Person of the 
Father drew me to Him and said — 

" ' I gave thee My Son, and My Holy Spirit, and this 
your Virgin Lady ; what canst thou give to Me ? ' " 

Some of us will recall Frances Ridley Havergal's 
hymn founded no doubt on these words : — 

" Thy life was given for me, 

Thy blood, O Lord, was shed 
That I might ransomed be. 

And quickened from the dead: 
Thy Ufe was given for me, 

What have I given for Thee ? " 

Extremes meet ; and the present writer had in her 
youth the privilege of intimate acquaintance with a lady 
who was herself a mystic of much experience and divine 
illumination. Consciously or unconsciously she had bor- 
rowed much from Saint Teresa and her school ; but she 
was herself what is called an " Evangelical/' a Puritan of a 
rigid and narrow type. Under how many and how different 
guises does the Divine Truth reveal itself to men ! Though 
in this world we are sharply divided into separate Churches 
and sects, and even religions, and cannot see that any 
faith except our own can be the right one, yet I do believe 
that Truth is one ; and that each religion, each Church, 


each sect, sees that Truth (in a glass, darkly), sees the 
same eternal Truth, which is the one true God. 

I believe, too, in the Communion of Saints ; saints of 
many ages and, it would seem, of most opposing faiths ; 
and when, as we all hope, we shall attain to the Kingdom 
of Heaven, we shall see fulfilment of the dear Lord's words, 
that many, many shall come from the east and from the 
west (unrecognized here, and perhaps cast out) and shall sit 
down with Abraham in the presence of the angels of God. 

Teresa had been two years at the Encarnacion before 
she left it for a day. Then she obtained leave to go to 
Salamanca and move the convent there into the new house. 

While at Salamanca she received an invitation to found 
at Segovia, and the supernatural Voice bade her under- 
take this labour also. She expected difficulty with 
Fernandez, the Apostolical Visitor ; but he consented at 
once ; nor was there any opposition from the Bishop of 
Segovia, Don Diego Covarrubias, who was afterwards 
President of the Royal Council and a staunch friend to the 
Reformed Carmelites. 

The Bishop, however, omitted to put his acceptance of a 
new convent in writing ; at which the wary Julian de 
Avila shook his head. 

The invitation had come from Dona Ana de Jimena, a 
wealthy widow, first cousin of that Isabel de Jesus, who 
had sung so sweetly Veanie mis ojos, Dulce Jesus bueno. 
All seemed satisfactory, and Teresa was soon on her way 
to Segovia, which, as the crow flies, is no great distance 
from Avila or Salamanca, but on the far side of almost 
inaccessible mountains. 

It is difficult for us nowadays to reconstruct the appear- 
ance of a mediaeval city ; for either it has completely 
altered its aspect, like Madrid, for instance ; or else life 


lias gone out of it, and its ruined buildings and silent 
streets give a false impression of a day that was all bustle 
and affairs. It is the latter fate which Segovia, once the 
centre of the wool trade, has not escaped. A city of 
churches, too many of them now are decayed or in process 
of desecrating transformation. The streets are moss- 
grown and voiceless. A few donkeys, led by peasants in 
the picturesque knee-breeches, convey the scanty mer- 
chandize. A few old women, gossiping together for hours, 
sell asses' milk, bread, fruit, and such like, under the 
arches of the tremendous Roman aqueduct which bisects 
the town. But from first to last Segovia must have had 
pre-eminence of beauty. Her situation is superb, in the 
midst of encirchng mountains, snow-capped till San Juan 
(midsummer) ; herself stretched out along the top of a 
leafy hill, islanded in the tawny vega, a town enclosed by 
antique walls, dominated by cathedral towers ; at her ex- 
treme end, the Alcazar, a fortress overhanging a precipice, 
whence Isabella rode forth to be crowned Queen of Castille. 
Segovia has been likened to a ship ploughing the 
waves ; the Alcazar her prow, the gently undulating 
fields and pastures her swelling sea. Like Salamanca, 
she is built of warm rich sandstone ; her roofs are red ; 
she has many trees and flowers. After the gloom of 
Toledo, the intolerable grey of Avila, Segovia, with 
her walls, her river, her irregular heaped-up houses, her 
soaring towers clear-cut against the evening sky, seems 
wrought of gold, like the New Jerusalem in the fancy of 
some monkish illuminator of old breviary or missal. 

Saint Teresa opened her convent on Saint Joseph's day 
1574, in a temporary house. Padre Julian said the first 
Mass, and placed the Blessed Sacrament. Teresa was 

Next day a Cathedral canon, nephew of Covarrubias 


the Bishop, was surprised to see a new cross over the door- 
way of a supposed empty house. Learning that the 
Discalced CarmeHtes and the Mother Teresa de Jesus were 
there, he was pleased, and asked permission to say Mass in 
their chapel. The service was in progress, when a great 
commotion arose outside ; the door was flung rudely 
open, and in marched another Cathedral dignitary in 
a very different temper. This was the Provisor, deputy 
for the Bishop who was absent on a visitation of his 

i Alas ! Don Diego de Covarrubias had left no instruc- 
tions about the new convent ! The Provisor was offended 
because the nuns had arrived without consulting 

His entry was violent and threatening, but he found 
no one to receive the vials of his wrath, except the canon 
who was saying Mass, and gentle Juan de la Cruz, who 
came forward as Teresa's spokesman. The Provisor 
threatened Fray Juan with prison ; he sent the Bishop's 
nephew about his business ; he stationed an alguacil 
(policeman) at the door to keep out any more officious 
canons, and despatched a priest in hot haste to consume 
the Host and undo the whole work of the foundation, 

" Jesus ! " exclaims Teresa, " what a business it is 
contending with such persons ! " 

With the help of the Jesuits the Provisor was eventu- 
ally placated. He gave the nuns leave to remain ; but 
refused them the Blessed Sacrament till they had a house 
of their own. One was found, not without difficulty ; 
then began lawsuits, objections from the Franciscans 
and other communities, objections from the Cathedral 
Chapter and the civil authorities. In the middle of the 
confusion arrived the nuns from Pastrana to be housed ; 
and Teresa's time of office at the Encarnacion was all but 



up, and she would have to cross the mountains to Avila 
to deHver up the keys of her office. 

1 However, the Bishop, Don Diego, unexpectedly re- 
turned from his visitation, and was a help with his patron- 
age and advice. Everything got settled in time, and before 
Teresa left she saw the nuns safe in their own house, 
where indeed the community is to this day. 

It stands in the Calle San Andres beyond the Cathedral ; 
a large stern house with flat walls of the golden sandstone 
pierced by few small windows, all barred ; and one, that 
of the Coro Alto (Upper Choir), furnished also with the 
formidable spikes to which I had got used at the grilles 
of the locutorios. One side of the building faces a narrow 
lane, the other the main street. Over the principal door- 
way is a tiled gable, its colour a pleasant green, protecting 
a coloured figure of San Jose leading the child Jesus ; on 
the wall by its side are the remains of a coloured 

At three o'clock the door stood open ; I entered, and 
found myself in a small unadorned entrance court with 
stone pavement and mounting-block, doubtless used by 
Teresa herself when she ascended her donkey for that 
troublesome mountain journey to Avila. On these 
occasions of visit, a considerable amount of parley and 
persuasion is generally necessary before the portress 
nun at the torno will give the key of the parlour to 
the stranger. At Segovia, however, I was admitted 
quicker than usual, and I was soon in the locutorio, 
a narrow room with one tiny window high up in the great 
depth of the mediaeval wall. The nuns were most kind, 
and had many interesting things to show and to tell me 
of their life within those solemn walls. 

At the end of her three years' priorate, notwithstanding 
the wish of the nuns for her re-election, Teresa was allowed 


to leave the Encarnacion and return to her beloved San 
Jose of Avila. 

Before long, however, she was called to found a convent 
at Veas, an enterprize which was the opening of a new 
chapter in her life, which took her into Andalucia, involved 
her in the violent conflict in progress there between the 
Calced and Discalced branches of the Carmelite Order in 
Spain ; and in compensation gave her the dearest friend 
she ever made in her life, whose sympathy and affection 
were the joy of her declining years. 

Two years earlier when Teresa was at Salamanca 
busy about the move into the new house, she had received 
a letter, inviting her to Veas, from a lady she did not know, 
Doha Catalina de Godinez. 

Catalina's story was a remarkable one. She was the 
elder daughter of Don Sancho Rodriguez de Sandoval, 
a cahallero of noble lineage and considerable wealth. At 
the age of fourteen, when the question of her betrothal 
was under consideration, Catalina experienced that 
strange and sudden spiritual change which is called 
" conversion." She had been high-spirited, self-willed, 
proud, fastidious ; in one moment, struck by sudden 
realization of the humiliation and sufferings of Christ, 
she lost all interest in worldly honour, in human love, 
in pleasing herself. From henceforth her only desire 
was to suffer for and to glorify Christ. So great was her 
enthusiasm that it infected her younger sister Maria, 
who for long years, indeed till Catalina was dead, seemed 
little more than the reflection of her sister. The two 
girls resolved to be nuns ; but their vocation was opposed 
by their parents, and they remained at home as Beafas, 
wearing a peculiar dress, occupying themselves in works 
of charity, and practising secret mortification. At one 
time they opened a school, teaching the children of their 


neighbours to work and read, until — how Spanish ! — the 
parents reahzcd their children were being taught for 
nothing, and " esteemed it a meanness to accept the 
boon." Contemptuous perhaps of the excuse, Teresa says 
it was the devil who intervened to stop the good work. 
Indeed, the demonio had persecuted Catalina all along. 
On the very night of her conversion, noises so strange 
and so loud had been heard in her room, that her father 
had rushed in, sword in hand, thinking some one was 
murdering her. "The devil knew," says Teresa, "that 
Catalina was to be a great power for good ; because never 
does our Lord show such great grace but that many 
persons beside the recipient are benefited." 

Catalina suffered from a variety of ill-understood 
diseases and for years was bedridden. After the death 
of her parents, when the moment came in which she was 
free to arrange her own life, she became mysteriously 
cured ; to her friends and to herself this seemed miraculous, 
nor are such miracles unknown to-day though we explain 
them a little differently. 

Twenty years earlier, Catalina had dreamed a strange 
and prophetic dream. She had fallen asleep wondering what 
rehgious Order she ought to join ; and she dreamed that, 
straying along a stony path overhanging a precipice, 
she was met by a friar (afterwards identified as Juan de 
la Miseria) wearing a white mantle ; he led her to a house, 
where were many nuns of radiant aspect, carrying torches ; 
and their prioress showed her their Rule and called 
Catalina her daughter. 

When she awoke the girl wrote down all she could 
remember of the Rule, and wondered night and day of 
what Order it could be. Long years afterwards a 
Jesuit father told her it must be that of Teresa de 
Jesus, the Discalced Carmelite. At once Catalina wrote 


to Teresa, imploring her to visit Veas and found a 

Teresa hesitated. Veas was a long way off, and she 
feared Fernandez would not approve the project. When 
consulted, he did not exactly refuse consent ; but said that 
as all Veas belonged to the Knights of Santiago, their 
leave must be obtained for a convent, and he did not 
think they would give it. 

Catalina rose from her bed and went in person to 
Madrid to plead her cause with the Council of Orders. ^ 
Failing with the Council, she appealed to the king. 
When Philip learned that the suggested convent was to 
be of Teresa's founding, he at once smoothed all difficulties ; 
and Catalina went home in triumph with her licence. 
Fernandez could not refuse his consent, and Teresa no 
longer hesitated. 

In March 1574, accompanied as usual by Padre Julian 
and by Antonio Gaitan — a layman who in Teresa's later 
journeys undertook the office of " courier " — accompanied 
also by carefully selected nuns for the new convent, Teresa 
set forth on the long and difficult journey to the unknown 
Sierra Morena, a journey of more than fifty leagues. 

For the first time in her experience, the journey was 
a triumphal progress. People came out from the villages 
to welcome the now well-known Mother-in-God ; and 
knelt to receive her benediction. Once when the travellers 
had lost their way, San Jose himself was seen pointing 
it out. The very mules were inspired, and trod the 
precipices with tanta ligereza que afirmaban los carreteros 
con juramentos que parecia que volaban (with so much 
lightness that their drivers affirmed with oaths that they 
seemed to fly). 

1 A body established by Ferdinand and Isabella to control the manage- 
ment of the Military Orders. 


When the party arrived at Veas — lo ! the town had 
come out to receive them. Bands of children sang hymns ; 
" a groat company on horseback performed all feats of 
courtesy and joy, and escorted the nuns to the church, 
in which was gathered a multitude of the greater and of 
the lesser folk." And the clergy, wearing their surplices 
and carrying a cross, made a procession ; and thus " they 
brought the holy women to the house of those two sisters 
who had waited for so many years, and who now prayed 
them to take it for their monastery, and to receive them- 
selves unto their number, and henceforth to call them 
by the names of Catalina and Maria de Jesus." 





MYSTICISM has appeared again and again in ages and 
in lands widely separated, among men unlike in 
character, in material progress, and in religious 
observance. It has flourished at Thebes and Eleusis ; in 
India ; in Germany, Spain, France, even in England. 

Arising from a profound sense of the spiritual world 
to which the soul of man substantially belongs, and with 
which the soul is therefore capable of entering into 
immediate relationship, mysticism is a fusion of religion 
and metaphysics, the contradictions of which are not 
perceived by those untrained in dialectics. It is hardly 
philosophic, at any rate in Spain. Philosophy requires 
freedom of thought : and freedom of thought had not 
flourished in Spain even before the coming of that 
Juggernaut Car, the Inquisition. True philosophy accepts 
no boundary ; but " This far shaft thou go and no further " 
was said to every Spanish student, not only by the Church, 
but also by his own inclination. 

The conclusions, even the premises, of the mystic 
may be upset by the logician and the scientist ; 
nevertheless his fundamental tenets have appealed so 
strongly to the highest minds, that we must believe him 
right when he says, "Truth can be found by other and 


by better ways than by faultless reasoning and process 
of induction." 

The mystic stands an unfaltering witness to the presence 
around and among us of unseen influences, of higher 
powers, of eternities and infinities which include ourselves 
and shape our souls. His error is not that in his First 
Principles he acknowledges a mystery and its potency, 
then builds up a system of thought ignoring it. Rather 
he makes himself so familiar with the mystery that he 
robs it of its mysteriousness ; and finding the kingdom 
of heaven within, he forgets that it is also high so that 
he may not attain unto it. 

Before discussing Saint Teresa's devotional writings, 
let us take a glance at some of the other Spanish mystics, 
her contemporaries. 

The school — though it was not without precursors, — 
may be said to begin with 

Ale JO Vanegas 

who was born at Toledo in 1500. He was learned ; a 
moralist rather than a mystic except in his beautiful 
treatise on The Agony of the Passage of Death. Here we 
have the true reUgious and metaphysical blend. 

The hfe of faith, he says, is all of miracle ; for the 
Christian is maintained by supernatural gifts, by means 
of which he lives the life of grace, and of these gifts the 
greatest is faith itself. Faith believes that God created 
all things ; man is the sum of all creation ; therefore 
Christ when he took human nature upon Him said, " Behold 
I draw all things unto Myself." 

This personal union of the Divine Word with humac 
nature is the first of the mystical unions ; and front 
participation in this no child of Adam is excluded. Bui 


there is a closer union ; called the Union of Grace, by 
which every Christian in his baptism becomes a member 
of Christ his Head. And every Christian should have his 
life conformable to that of his Head, must take up his 
cross, bearing and even seeking affliction, participating 
on Christ's sufferings here, so as hereafter to participate 
in His crown — namely in perfect and indissoluble Union 
with God. 

This expresses the foundation motive of the life of 
self-abnegation and even of voluntary torture, inculcated 
by all the Spanish mystics. 

Next in importance to Venegas is 

Pedro Malon de Chaide 

an Augustinian born in 1530. He wrote a treatise on 
the conversion of Mary Magdalen, the concluding parts 
of which describe the mystic joys of that holy soul, 
repentant of great sin, brought into grace and friendship 
with " the most clement Father and Lord ; enjoying 
that peace which passes all understanding, and can only 
be spoken of by those who have experience of it." 

The book was written for a nun, Beatriz de Cerdan. 
Not published till long after the author's death, it is now 
regarded as one of the classics of the noble Castillian 
language. The first part — the Magdalen's life as a sinner 
— is of great interest as a picture of the life Malon de 
Chaide saw around him. He apologizes for writing to a 
woman, (saying there really have been a considerable 
number of distinguished women), also for writing in 
Spanish ; but hopes, he says, to see Spain rise to the 
highest place among the nations, her language above 
other languages, her women above other women. Both 
must first amend themselves in many ways. The women 


must not read loose poems or Books of Chivalry (very 
bad for doncellas) ; nor dress in rainbow colours, nor 
cover themselves with jewels to kneel before Jesus in 
his crown of thorns. They must pay their debts, be honest 
in their confessions, and not goad men into seductions, 
murders, and other crimes committed in the names of 
Honour and of Love. They need not concern themselves 
about the errors of the Protestants, nor make excuses 
for their faults by subtleties as to predestination. True, 
Saint Paul says the potter has power over the pot ; but 
man is not senseless like a pot. He must hearken to the 
voice of God ; and to do this he must be of God ; and 
to be of God means to love and actively to obey Him. 

This last phrase is characteristic of the Spanish mystics 
as distinguished from the Qaietists who followed them. 
The former are impatient of mere passiveness ; even 
when insisting most strongly that grace is the gift of God, 
they postulate a certain activity in the soul, which must 
rise up vigorously to receive the gift and to co-operate 
with the Divine Giver. 

Diego de Estella 

born in 1524, was a famed preacher and one of Philip ii's 
theologians. He had a strong bias to asceticism. " Sweet," 
he says, " is the divine consolation ; but it is not for all. 
It is for those who despise the vanities of the world. 
All would fain enjoy the sweet conversation of the Lord ; 
but few are they ready to relinquish their earthly interests. 
Nay then ! give them all up ! — the pleasure of the eye, 
the pride of life ; fortune, fame, friends ; the desire to 
be learned, or a prelate of the Church ; the satisfaction 
in beauty, lineage, lands, or wealth ! Then when you have 
lost all, you will see how all creation invites to the love 


of God — who is the sum and the eternity of all good. 
And by love shall we be lifted even up to God, as to our 
centre where alone the soul can rest and be at peace. 

Juan de Avila 

born in 1500 at Almodovar, was so great and compelling 
a preacher that he was called the Apostle of Andalucia. 
It is related of him that having been asked by a young 
preacher to give advice about sermons, he said — 

" In order to preach well, the thing needful is greatly 
to love God." 

Unfortunately none of Juan de Avila's sermons have 
survived. His written works were not published in 
complete form till the eighteenth century. One of them 
had been put on the Index in 1559 (the year of the great 
(,uto de fe at Valladolid) and he was attacked by the 
Inquisition ; acquitted, however, and himself called upon 
to judge in cases of suspected heresy, and to expose 
delusions like those of Madalena de la Cruz. Teresa's Book 
of her Life was sent to him for judgment, and his approval 
was a great relief and satisfaction to her. Juan de Avila's 
principal treatise, on the text Audi filia et vide was written 
for a young lady, Dona Sancha de Carrillo, who had 
renounced the world just when appointed maid-of -honour 
to the Queen. It is diffuse ; but eloquent with mastered 
emotion and force of conviction. 

The world, he says, must be given up not from intrinsic 
horror of it, but by the overwhelming power of a greater 
love. Love is superior to Faith, because Love pertains 
to the will. Faith to the understanding ; and the will 
is a nobler faculty than the understanding. To seek after 
knowledge beyond knowledge of God and of the soul 
is to go astray like Eve. Knowledge of the soul will 


lead to contempt of self ; and to those truly conscious 
of their own nothingness God will show their real greatness, 
which is that they exist not in themselves but in Him 
Then a great light will come into their souls, and from this 
onwards they shall live in the presence of God within ; 
for truly He is most present, and the souls shall live and 
move and have their being in union with Him. As means 
to this great end, meditation and prayer are necessary. 
But prayer is not to be understood in any narrow sense ; 
it is a constant and familiar communion with God for 
which words are no necessity. 

All this is expressed by Juan de Avila in language 
of great picturesqueness and force, with apt and even 
magnificent phrases and illustrations. He did not belong 
to any monastic Order. A life of experience and inter 
course with men gave him great knowledge of human 
nature, and preserved him from exaggeration and ex- 

We come now to the three men who with Teresa herself 
are the greatest of the Spanish mystics. 

Luis de Granada 

was born in 1504, and at the age of fifteen joined the 
Order of Preachers. His sermons have perished ; but his 
admirable written treatises have been widely read both 
in Spain and in other countries. His Guide for Sinners 
was not entirely satisfactory to the Inquisition, and was 
prohibited till the country had purged itself of Protest- 
antism. Luis de Granada, was not, it seems, sufficiently 
alarmed by heresy. 

" The cause of the disorder," he said, " is not that 
Faith is lacking, but that men do not understand its 
mysteries." Consequently he wrote to supply Faith if 



not with an intellectual basis, at least with intellectual 
support. The great mystics arc unanimous in their fear 
of that bastard mysticism which degenerates into pre- 
sumption and absurdity. Luis de Granada had felt the 
inlluence of Peter of Alcantara and the ascetics, but he 
was no special pleader for the cloister. Rather he 
deprecated the tendency among saints to hide in monas- 
teries and fetter their souls with rules. The crowd of 
obscure ecstatics, the beatas revelanderas, the vulgar alum- 
brados (or illuminati), too often quacks if not impostors, 
filled him with alarm. 

" Few," he said, "are capable of comprehending the 
sublimities of religion, of meditating, or even of finding 
for themselves food for contemplation, for mental prayer, 
for the inner life." His Guia de pecadores [Guide for Sinners) 
contains practical advice not only for monks and nuns, 
but for godly persons in the world. He trusted to 
enlightenment rather than persecution for the rescue of 
the Church from her enemies. 

The Guia begins with an attempt to show why the 
creature should love and serve his Creator, directing its 
appeal quite as much to reason as to faith. The chapter 
on Prayer goes deeper into the mysteries of religion. 
Prayer is more than to speak with God upon the knees. 
It is to spring towards Him ; to walk in His presence. 
Ever}'' good thought, every lifting of the heart, every 
holy affection is Prayer. Prayer is the habitual, scarce 
conscious cry of the holy soul, the spontaneous activity 
of love. 

For the formal acts of prayer and contemplation he 
gives minute and practical advice ; how to distribute the 
time, how to overcome natural weariness, how to cultivate 
patience and humility. The soul will be judged not by 
what it feels about God, but by its attitude ; and the right 


attitude cannot be achieved except by prayer and mortifica- 
tion. And of these two, prayer (in its widest sense) is 
of the greater moment, for mortification is impossible 
except by prayer. 

Luis de Leon 

born in 1527 took the Augustinian habit in 1543 at 
Salamanca, where later he was Professor of Theology. 
His statue is now in the quiet little Plazuela de la 
Universidad facing the beautiful plateresque fagade of 
the Escuelas Manor es (Lesser schools). He was one of 
the great lyric poets of Spain, and Salamanca will never 
forget him, even if his subject matter no longer makes 
the general appeal which it made in the days when every 
distinguished man was pre-supposed not only religious, 
but very strictly orthodox. 

Luther, the arch-heretic, had belonged to the 
Augustinians, and perhaps their Order was more jealously 
watched than any other. Independent in judgment, candid 
in speech, Luis de Leon, like his namesake of Granada, 
accused ignorance of being the parent of error. The 
Scripture itself, he said, is not safe in the hands of the 
ignorant, and must be taken from them ; but how much 
better had they been more instructed and so worthy to 
keep it ! That pious wish seemed in itself suspicious to 
the Dominicans, the sponsors for the Inquisition ; but 
Luis had more to say. He spake of errors in the Vulgate, 
presumably brought in by its translators : he conceived 
of progress even in theology ; he declared that much 
of the Sacred Book was figurative, and by no means to 
be received as absolute fact. For instance, the Song of 
Solomon is a pastoral poem in which Jesus Christ and 
His Church are figured as a shepherd and a shepherdess. 
The language is typical ; nothing is gained by denying 


the literary character of the words and the machinery. 
The underlying spiritual meaning is distinct from the 
literary form and is not damaged by it. 

This bold criticism seemed to the Dominicans Hebraism 
if not Protestantism. Luis was suspected of Jewish 
descent, of traducing confession ; of speaking with levity of 
the Mass. Naturally he was denounced to the Holy Office. 
He was imprisoned for years ; finally, however, acquitted. 
Then he returned to Salamanca and his chair ; he resumed his 
lectures at the point where he had left off, with the words — 

" As we were saying " 

Later he published a treatise on the Book of Job, 
which seems the spiritual result of his long trial. He 
discusses the meaning of Job's persecution. It was not 
punishment ; it was the divine method of his perfecting. 
Patience does not consist in insensibility to suffering, nor 
even in silence under it ; but in acceptance of the will 
of God. Luis points out that Job and his friends all say 
the same thing, but with different intention and different 
conclusions. Thus in other controversies there may be 
unity even in the noise of dispute. Job had to protest 
against the narrowness of the orthodox ; he saw that 
agreement in words does not, and should not hinder 
differences in their interpretation. The friends were not 
wrong in their interpretation, but in their refusal to admit 
any other interpretations. 

Besides this very remarkable plea for tolerance, Luis 
de Leon wrote against the dangers of the contemporary 
fanatical mysticism which dulls energy and the sense of 
responsibility. Women, he considered especially open to 
this danger. After which severity, it is pleasant to read 
his whole-hearted appreciation of the Mother Teresa de 
Jesus, which he wrote in 1588 as preface to the Salamanca 
edition of Teresa's writings. 


Luis de Leon was interested in women ; and wrote a 
delightful tract called La Perfecta Casada {the Perfect 
wotnan married). He opens by insisting that professions 
must not be mixed up : if the nun must not take on 
herself the cares of a wife, neither must the married woman 
forget the conduct of her house and turn nun. God 
forbid she should live without prayer, but while the nun's 
whole business is prayer, the wife should pray that she 
may do her business. And her business is to breed her 
children, to govern her household, and to obey her husband 
(in reason). How many women, by serving their whims, 
and not looking after the accounts, have arrived at 
perpetual quarrel with their husbands and at argument 
and disobedience from their children ! Women are not 
suited to high speculation ; but, if there is aught beneath 
the moon which deserves to be esteemed and prized, it is 
a good woman ; in comparison whereof the sun doth 
not shine, and the stars are dark. Nor is there jewel of 
worth or of praise, that a man vaunts himself of, in 
comparison with a good woman, should fortune have 
given him such for his companion. 

There is not much mysticism in this essay ; but Luis 
de Leon wrote also a deep and beautiful work called The 
Names of Christ ; where his main point is to estabhsh 
Christ's humanity, minimized, he thought, by the pseudo 
mystics. Man, he said, has his being in God, and cannot 
choose but resemble Him. All are contained in God ; 
and that man is most like God, who has most in him of the 
spirit of all the others. Thus all men mingle and unite, 
while each retains his individuality. All exist in the idea 
of all ; when we have thus received them and made them 
our own, we reproduce them in the language of our lips. 
A naute should, therefore, represent a person or thing as 
we possess it in our spirits. Perfect names fit what they 



stand for. But as no name can be infinite, the names of 
God can each only belong to a part of Him ; and we 
name God even as He is within our souls. 

There is Platonism here ; but in Luis de Leon there 
was also the Neoplatonism of the Alexandrians and not a 
few Jewish and Arabic ideas, all fused together and blended 
into Christian orthodoxy by the genius of a poet. 

For all his writings in verse or in prose are pervaded 
by genuine poetry ; instinct with love of nature, called 
forth by contemplation of the eternal harmony and beauty, 
which he sees reflected in the mirror of earthly things, 
but which have their true seat behind the veil in the 
presence of the Everlasting Lord. 

Juan de la Cruz 

We now come to Saint John of the Cross, the young 
friar who with Antonio de Jesus started the first of 
Teresa's reformed monasteries for men. He was born in 
1542, the son of Gonzalo de Yepes who had made a love 
match, been cast off by his family, and consequently 
obliged to work with his hands for the support of his wife 
and children. Of the latter, Juan was the youngest, 
marked out for religion from his earliest years, with 
experience of visions and revelations. Several times in 
the course of his life he was nearly drowned, and on each 
occasion he attributed his escape to the visible intervention 
of the Blessed Virgin. 

He studied theology at Salamanca, and was considered 
a scholar. His writings show him familiar with philosophy ; 
but he studied profane letters, only in so far as they helped 
his understanding of sacred lore, his absorption in things 
invisible and eternal. All through his life he seemed a 
spirit rather than a man. Though he had his share in 


the organization, and government of his Order (that of the 
Discalced CarmeUtes), his mission was rather to be a guide 
and a support to individual souls ; to be himself a burning 
and a shining light, drawing men to holiness by force of 
his blameless example. 

Like Luis of Leon, he suffered false accusation and 
imprisonment, but issued triumphantly from his persecu- 
tion, his enemies becoming his admirers and friends. 
He was Rector of the College at Alcala, and he founded 
monasteries of the reform in Andalucia and in Castille ; 
but his delight was to escape to some desert cell and there 
devote himself to spiritual exercises and undistracted 
contemplation. In such a cell, in the wilderness of Ubeda 
he died before he was fifty. He was canonized in the 
eighteenth century like the great Mother whom he 
followed and, in the opinion of some, surpassed. 

Juan de la Cruz is the ideal contemplative. Again 
and again, in the turbulence of the Order which followed 
Teresa's death, he protested that Contemplation was the 
object and the end of the Discalced Carmelites, and that 
it was being forgotten in spiritual activity or aimless 
asceticism. The chronicler relates that on one of these 
occasions, the Fathers and Priors of the Order listened 
with reverence and enthusiasm, feeling that something 
very high, very great, very holy, was being proposed to 
them ; yet they voted against the saint, feeling (perhaps 
not altogether wrongly) that his suggestions were a 
counsel of perfection which for men without his genius, 
without his inspiration, could lead only to failure. 

The best known of his writings is the Suhida al Monte 
Carmelo {Ascent of Mount Carmel) ; a mystical allegory 
in which his favourite image of the Dark Night makes 
its first appearance. His letters to various correspondents, 
his poems and commentaries on them have also been 


studied by many seekers after the deep things of re- 

The message oj Saint John'lTfHi-be. Gross is that-.the.. 
perfectJDji of hoHness consists in the possession of God by 
the mystical^ unifla^^^Tloye. l*eresa and theotliers say 
the same,;^_but with less emphasis ; perhaps with less., 

That duly prepared soul, he says, which would build 
an altar for the sacrifice of undefiled love, will be taught 
of God in such a way that all her operations will become 
divine. Her earthly faculties are suspended ; for understand- 
ing, memory, imagination, cannot disperse the darkness 
of the spiritual night. God has no form nor figure ; 
corporal images, material objects of the five senses, have 
nothing to do with Him. Mountains of gold, palaces of 
diamonds, can evoke no idea superior to diamonds or gold. 
He who represents God to himself under a sensible appear- 
ance, has not known Him. This obscure Carmelite 
friar, had a clearer view than many theologians of the 
meaning and the exigencies of that much abused word 
Spiritual. He speaks of the " abominable custom " of 
dressing the images ; of the foolish preference for one 
rosary over another ; of pilgrimages in crowds to shrines 
or feasts, which amuse the pilgrim rather than please 
God. All such business he calls idolatry. The exterior 
and the visible has no place except to lead to the invisible 
and the interior. Once the impression has been made 
— efface the symbol and remain in God, needing no more 
creature, memorial, affection. 

All of which can hardly have been comprehensible to 
Spaniards of the sixteenth century. 

The will, Juan goes on, must be detached from natural 
desires. Joy, hope, grief — over them all pass the sponge. 
Created things are crumbs fallen from God's table — The 


dog licks them up ; but is always famished, for crumbs 
excite but cannot appease the appetite. 

The preparation for Union is painful ; for the soul is 
still in Dark Night, and the entrance of divine wisdom 
dazzles. But words cannot paint the succeeding joy of 
coming into touch with the Infinite. The Infinite ! ah ! 
it seems too much — as if it must belong to the future, not 
to this present life of weakness and obscurity. And yet 
to some 

But is it objected that God must be present in all 
souls ? Most true, or they would not exist. But in most 
men He is present as a stranger ; in the souls of His friends 
He is at home. 

Juan de la Cruz did not write for, beginners ; he wrote 
for the ' perfect.' Perhaps he sometimes forgot that 
distinctly personal experience can never be a law for 
him who has not had it. Teresa herself said of this most 
ardent of her sons, whom she revered and trusted above 
all others, " He refines, he spiritualizes too much." 
Perhaps she held him back from exaggerations that might 
have led to the errors of quietism and perfectionism. 
Yet that convent legend of which we can hardly now 
determine the literal truth, has much significance. At 
Avila, in the Convent of the Encarnacion at the time 
when Teresa was prioress, and Juan de la Cruz was the 
spiritual director, these two saints conversing together on 
the mysteries of experience and faith, were seen, both of 
them, lifted from the earth in a holy trance, their souls 
rapt to heaven. What sublimity of friendship is suggested 
by this common esctasy, what communion of saints, what 
realities of sympathy and joy ! 

If Teresa with her " sanctified common sense " reminded 
the enthusiast that by God's wiU, they each still walked 
the earth, Juan de la Cruz may weU have kept her, and 


through her, her disciples, from an unconscious and too 
easy anthropomorphism. He is the most logical, the 
most metapliysical, the most independent of all the mystics. 
" No reality," he said, " can be God." By removing 
God from the real to the ideal (with a clearness of percep- 
tion that seems a foreshadowing of Hegel) he gives the 
conception of the Supreme Being a sureness of foundation, 
that may be assailed, but can assuredly never be destroyed. 
Thus studying the way to God, Juan passed quiet 
days in an atmosphere of sublime faith and love ; serene 
amid the noise of faction and dispute ; untroubled even 
by the spread of heresy. God, he said, is in all men at 
the centre of the soul ; and to a few He reveals Himself, 
leading them even in this life into the everlasting kingdom. 

When a school of thought has reached its highest 
point its decline begins by a falling into extremes ; either 
it loses fervour and grows weak, or it exaggerates and so 
repels. If we consider Saint Teresa and Saint John, the 
greatest figures of the Carmelite reform, we see decline 
beginning with their immediate followers. Exaggeration 
was the work of Doria ; Gracian, who at first seemed merely 
practical, belonged to the weakeners. Juan de la Cruz 
had no successors, Gracian and Doria had many. 

Mysticism became a system, confused itself with 
asceticism, and got lost among relics and formulas. 

But the Spanish mystics, constructive where the 
Inquisition was destructive, had played their part. They 
had aided in the suppression of heresy by presenting a 
pure, attractive, and poetic form of religion within the 




IN discussing Teresa's mysticism, we shall not find 
anything she says extraordinarily, different from 
the doctrine of the other members of her school. 
Her fundamental ideas are the same as theirs : — that 
' perfection ' is the result_of Jove, and consists in Union 
wiiti^Gocl. .. Her_ excellence is in the admirablg.eclectidsmr" 
.the_^roportion and__jDalance of her ideas ; also in her 
masterly way of expressing them. In all she .says_there 
is a personal and emotionaljouch which^Q£S. straight to 
the heart of her reader. While she lived her influence 
over persons of every class was very great ; it is felt also 
in her writings, with which, being dead, she yet speaketh, 
persuasively and powerfully as of old. 

Space will forbid analysis of all her devotional books. 
The earlier ones — the Vida and the Relaciones — were 
each written as an apologia to elicit explanation or advice 
from her confessors. Probably she would herself wish 
to be judged by the two fully mature treatises, produced 
as the fruit of her own experience for the help and guidance 
of her spiritual children : — The Way of Perfection ; and 
The Mansions, better known in England by its original 
title. The Interior Castle. 

^JThe Camino de Perfeccion was written^ in 1562 for 
the nuns ^Lher dear San JqseTbf ^\51a ; that is, it was 


not addressed to persons in tlic world, but to^cloistered 
women devoted to the Contemplative life. It^isjargely 
a boolT of practical dire£ti ons, often very humorous _iijid 
"shrewd. Two copies exist in Teresa's own handwriting ; 
tiic older one is at the Escorial in the Camarin de la 
Reliquias ; the other in the Convent of La Concepcion 
at Valladolid. Both of these valuable manuscripts I 
have been permitted to see and to handle. There are 
slight differences between them ; that of Valladolid has 
greater literary polish, that of the Escorial, the greater 
vigour and spontaneity. There exist further four copies, 
made no doubt by the nuns in different convents and 
signed by Teresa herself. The first printed edition 
appeared four months after the author's death ; and in 
1588 Fray Luis de Leon prepared and published the Sala- 
manca edition, in all respects superior to the previous 

The jMQk_begins with^aii^explajmtioiLi)! why (with the 
permission of Baiiez her confessor) she decided .to -write 
it. She fancied that in certain small matters she might 
hit the mark better than learned, men, who are themselves 
so strqng_in__soul that they cannot know the difficulties 
of weak little-WDmeiij, difBculties specially invented for them 
by the devil, and often alas ! yielded to by herself. All 
she is going to say has been taught her by experience, or 
imparted to her directly by God. 

This is followed by the explanation I have already 
given ^ of her motives in the foundation of the Convent 
of San Josef : namely that she and her daughters might 
share in Christ's work for the salvation of perishing souls. 

But if the nuns are not to seem presumptuous, they 
must themselves be of great perfection both in word and 
in deed. Well then ; what is Perfection ? and how is it 

^ See page 99. 


to be attained ? These questions are what she wishes 
to answer in this httle book. 

Three things are very necessary to t his end of Per- 
fection. First, Love; secondly, Ren unciation : t hirdly. 
Humility, the most important of the three. 
~^' The practical directions which follow as to these three 
virtues are most entertaining reading. 

In the matter of Love among themselves the nuns are 
to love all, and not to waste their souls in great friendships 
and idol making with regard to some one or two of their 
companions. Of course no one can help feeling more 
inclination to some persons than to others ; but what 
nuns must do is to keep a watch over their inclinations. 
Favouritism is the way of the world : it is obnoxious in 
sisters who are all one in Jesus Christ, in a prioress 
it is positively pestilential ! There is another danger 
must be alluded to. Some nuns get too fond of their 
confessors. That kind of love ought to be entirely 
spiritual ; but imperceptibly a touch of passion ^ enters 
into it and is the occasion of great scruple and unhappiness 
in her who experiences it. Now, says Teresa, should you ever 
be in this case, don't make too much of it. Your confessor 
is probably a person you admire and esteem very highly ; 
and the danger I speak of is quite natural ; for whom 
should we love if not those who bring good to our souls ? 
It can't be called a sin ; and to carry it to the very man 
himself in confession is to make matters worse. If you 
like, tell your prioress that your soul is not well with 
that confessor, and get her to change him for you ; or 
else confess and discuss the matter with some skilled 
director who is extraneous, and do what he bids you. 
Great evils arise from an unwillingness to ask advice in 
difficulties ; all people are not wise enough to counsel 

^ Sensualidad. 


Ihemsclvcs, or even to know what is the matter with 
them ! And at all times seek skilled men, learned, and 
very spiritual, for your confessors. The prioress is not 
to confine her nuns to one confessor, nor even to insist 
that he must belong to the Order. I wish my daughters 
to have full liberty in this matter. I know by experience 
how one sufferers at the hands of directors who are 
unsympathetic, ignorant, or stupid. 

Here Teresa pulls herself up for her inveterate habit 
of wandering from the point ; and gets back to that 
" Love which it is well to have." This little chapter is 
so beautiful, and withal so humorous, that I am tempted 
to quote it entire. 

" I spoke of love which is wholly spiritual ; but I 
doubt I knew what I was saying. In any case I needn't 
say much about it, for I fear those are very few who feel it. 
If one of you has attained to it, let her praise God. It 
must be a state of great perfection, and possibly may 
redound to some profit for us all. So much for that. 
The other love is the one we have most to do with. I 
said it was partly sensual ; but indeed I do not know 
precisely what sensual means, nor what spiritual means, 
nor how I am to speak of such matters. It's like some one 
listening to talk far off ; he knows there are things being 
said, but cannot quite understand them ; so I sometimes 
do not quite understand what I am saying ; and then, 
if I say well, it is the Lord's doing ; at other times I 
daresay I shall talk nonsense, for it is not really natural 
to me ever to hit the nail on its head ! But this much 
I do know : when God has brought a person to clear 
knowledge of what the world is, and what the other 
world ; and the difference between them, the one being 
eternal and the other a dream ; and what is the love 
of the Creator and what the love of the creature ; and 


what the meaning of Creator and what of creature ; and 
many other things which the Lord will teach, with truth 
and clearness, to them whom He teaches, then I say they 
will love very differently from those who have not learned 
all that." 

This is followed by details as to life in a community ; 
the need for concord, the importance of dealing with 
strife the moment it begins, etc. Small jealousies, small 
disagreements pertain much to women ; and Teresa does 
not wish her nuns to seem feeble women, but strong 
brave men ; and if they will only act up to their best, 
the Lord will make them so " manly " (varoniles) that 
the very men themselves will wonder and admire ! 

This bring s h^r,.Ju3Lji^r_,Second_head, Rexmnciajtion^ 
Jt must be real, interior^ renunciation, much easier to 
write about than to practise. Alas ! it includes renuncia- 
tion of_tlie~ iis-tuFal love .for onfi!s, kindred T' as'^aid the 
Lord, " He fliat hateth not father or mother cannot be 
My disciple." ^Liberty of spirit, interior peace demand 
this sacrj^ce. To be much grieved if some one' is ill, much 
elated if some one has come into a fortune, is too dangerous ! 
Let the sister keep away from the person who is a snare. 
Intercourse, even with good intentions, is perilous for 
herself and won't bring much profit to the other. 

Renouncing one's friends, however, is very little use, 
unless one ren ounces one self ! That m&Sins "Humility,' 
the third essential virtue, twin sister truly of Renunciation!' 

" O sovereign virtues ! lords of all creation, emperors 
of life, deliverers from all the gins and snares of the devil ! 
so much loved by our Teacher, that never did He move 
one step without both ! He who has them can go forth and 
fight all the world and its occasions. But, of course, he 
who has these virtues is the very last person to be aware 
of it himself ! " 


After this outburst, Teresa enters upon a lively tirade 
against love of the body. Some persons are always 
worrying how to please their bodies ! some continually 
studying their health. Good Lord ! the warfare these two 
pre-occupations give to poor nuns ! It really seems as if 
some of them come to their convent merely to look after 
their bodies ! Make up your minds, my daughters, that 
you are here at San Josef to die for Christ, not to make 
yourselves comfortable for Him. But the devil will 
persuade you that you are thinking a great deal of your 
Rule ; and you take such precautions in order to keep 
your Rule, that you go to your graves without having 
kept it for a single month, for a single week ! For my 
part, I believe the Lord wishes us to be ill ; at least I 
know He has given me His greatest gifts when I've been 
ill. Wliy not bear this mortification of illness ? Isn't 
there sometimes among you a perfect frenzy of mortifica- 
tion without rhyme or reason, which lasts for two whole 
days ? after which the devil says it has done you harm, 
and you won't endure any more penances, even those 
commanded by the Order. Why, you won't submit even to 
Silence (and really that can't do you any harm), and you 
leave off going to the choir to-day because your head 
aches, and to-morrow because it has ached, and three 
days more for fear it might ache. As if a headache was 
going to kill you !, 

I set down these little things because I know that once 
the devil begins threatening us with damage to our health, 
we shall never do anything at all. May God give us light 
and discern the right course in all things ! Amen. 

But I must add a few words on the habit of complain- 
ing. If you are reallj^ enduring great suffering, the suffering 
will do the complaining for you ; and of course it's silly 
not to mention grave ills which can find a remedy. But 


these little evils and weaknesses natural to women, don't 
be always mentioning them (unless to God), or you'll 
never have done ; and in a small community the corn- 
plainer is a great bore to the rest. It's a peculiarity of 
the body that the more you pamper it, the more it will 
demand ! Bethink you there are many poor creatures 
with no one to grumble to ; and are there not married 
women who put up with great annoyances and sufferings 
without a word, for fear of being tedious to their husbands ? 
And the saints and the holy hermits whom you wish 
to imitate, didn't they bear grief and solitude, and cold 
and hunger ? Do you suppose they were made of iron ? 
Ah ! can you not bear a little for God without proclaiming 
it to everybody ? By degrees as you vanquish your 
wretched little body, it will become less troublesome ; 
and believe me, that even in little things like this, it is 
only she who has gained the victory that can understand 
the gain ; which to my thinking is so great that for the 
sake of such relief I would bear anything ! All these 
so-called little virtues are occasions for continual mortifica- 
tion really more pleasing to God than great self-inflicted 
tortures. In all things try to follow Christ a little — a 
little ! Yes, for never shall you follow Him wholly, never 
get rid of all your faults ! We walk about full of faults ; 
the best man will faU seven times a day. It is a lie ever 
to say ' I have no sin.' Besides there are the sins of 
omission to be reckoned with ! Ah dear Lord ! See how 
blind are the eyes of Thy servant ! with how little I remain 
content ! 

Making a merry excuse, Teresa again pulls herself up 
for wandering from the point — (but the nuns mustn't 
imitate her in making excuses ! Not to make excuses 
is a custom of great perfection and edification and merit ; 
a real virtue ; she has inculcated it many a time ; but 


alas ! 'tis a grace God has never given to herself, who on 
every occasion sees some reason why this time it were 
scandalous not to make an excuse ! Pray God, amend 
her before her death !). To continue however — 

^And Jxere Teresa cmplo^^sjifir fajnous^illnstration from 

the^me ofcHess which sorne thought really ifoo irivoIouSi.___ 
She is not she says really into her game yet. She has 
been only at the gambit, placing her men for the play, 
and especially establishing her all-important queen ; 
which is that never-to-be-forgotten virtue. Humility. 

After this she enters upon the more serious part of 
her subject and adopts a graver tone. She wishes to write 
about Contemplation ; and her readers must remember 
that she knows their difficulties, for she herself had 
engaged in Mental Prayer for twenty years before she 
understood anything about it. All souls are not able for 
Contemplation, which is no matter of ease or idleness. 
On the contrary, the initial difficulty and labour, the 
self-control necessary for the abstraction and concentration 
of mind called Recollection, are every great and often the 
occasion of bitter distress. For many years Teresa herself 
had not been able even to meditate without the help of 
some devotional book. It seemed all waiting time — 
nothing gained — no recompense. Watch on, my sisters, 
and pray ; for you never know at what moment your 
Captain will call you ! 

But if (in that sense) He shall never call you, never 
give you any supernatural gifts, visions, revelations, 
never bring you into direct relation with Himself (that 
heaven on earth which we all desire, but must not demand 
nor expect), then in true humility be content with your 
lower place, with the Active life if He calls you to it. 
Martha was a true saint though she did not achieve Con- 
templation. What more could one wish than like her 




to have Christ often in one's house, and to serve Him 
and to sit at His very table ? Had Martha been rapt 
like Mary, who would have given the Lord to eat ? 
Those of the Active life are the sold iers wh o fight in 
me_battles ; those of the Contemplative, are the standard 
bearers-, ~whx)_.xaj^ry-aIoft the banner of. humanity:,^ across^ 
^hich lies . the Cross. And remember if the standard 
bearer drops the standard the battle has to be lost ! 

Teresa tries to define Perfect Contemplation ; and as 
usual words fail to make clear to the uninitiated, experiences 
not really belonging to the intellect. She falls back on 
similes ; suggestive but inadequate. 

There is Water for instance ; water of which it is said 
that he who drinketh it shall never thirst ; water which 
cools and also cleanses. How can a saint but long to 
drown himself in this living water ? Yet here a caution 
is necessary. Discretion, moderation, must be employed 
even in the reception of spiritual gifts. The devil drives 
some people to extremes ; and they injure their health, 
or go quite mad, or forget humility and charity, thus losing 
all power of doing God's will. 

Everybody will not have the same experiences ; 
from the great river flow many streams, some great, 
some small. Let none think he shall perish of thirst 
while he walks along the Way. If never in this world 
he shall reach the main stream (direct communion with 
God), yet in the world to come he shall drink of it and 
with great abundance. 
>^Biit-±he--:svay:==--the_tr«e way — ^is -the ^way of Praypr^^ 
V. First, Vocal Pra3i£r-f--€emmQiL^rescribedLj)rayer whethei; 
V neeTFeJ aloud or not : the_Paternoster, the ^ve_Maria,^ 
' -and so f orttn' never to be neglected: "^^Th en Mental^ 
...^Prayer. The distiiiction is not between words and no 
words, for indeed all prayer should be mental. The 


Creed, the Ave Maria must not be recited mechanically 
with no thought of God's presence. But Mental Prayer 
is deeper. The whole soul must engage in it, laying down 
all its independence, making itself consciously, a mere tool 
for the divine hand to move. 

After a short explanation of Recollection, Teresa goes 
on to analyse the Paternoster, which is the pattern prayer ; 
applying its clauses to the recognized definite stages of 
Contemplation, the order of which she discusses more 
systematically in the Vida and in the Moradas. 

" Thy kingdom come" : that refers to the Prayer of 
Quiet with which the supernatural gifts begin. The 
righteous Simeon knew this prayer when he said " Mine 
eyes have seen Thy salvation." But it is not the bodily 
sense which achieves this peace. With his bodily eyes, 
Simeon saw no more than el glorioso nino pobrecito (the 
poor little glorious child) ; but in his soul he knew he 
was at peace in the presence of the everlasting Son of the 
Celestial Father. 

It is not yet the Prayer of Union, — which is the culmina- 
tion — ; but the soul has come within sight of it, and with 
such content that it seems as if there were no more to be 
desired ; it is a condition of great blessedness which some- 
times lasts a long time, and in which the will is caught 
up and drawn into the will of God, 

It seems. almost an irreverence to quote further from 
these chapters which deal with the deeper mysteries ; 
chapters intended for the reading only of cloistered nuns. 
Many will be content to explain by the easy words : ' She 
imagined it all ' ; and of course intimate experiences of 
the soul are authoritative only for the subject of them. At 
least I can find nothing ignoble in Teresa's beliefs or aspira- 
tions. She is singularly free from the detestable fault of 
bringing God down to the level of man. In all these mystic 


states, which may or may not have been literally what she 
supposed them to be, she believes that he r soul j s-bdjig 
lifted up-io God. She is so hearETIy 'convinced of the 
greatness, and the awfulness, and the mystery of the Deity 
(whose face none may see and live) that one feels she had 
really got hold of a truth, a greater truth than is attained 
by those who make a god of the human intellect, and can 
believe in nothing above or beyond it. 

The concluding chapters of the Camino, still with the 
Lord's Prayer for text, contain devotional directions 
more or less practical. " Give us this day our daily bread," 
refers to the Holy Communion. " Forgive us our trespasses " 
leads to a discussion of sins and temptations : foremost 
among which latter are scruples. 

See, sisters, if you have these two things, the fear and 
the love of God, you may walk in quietness along the 
way, not fancying at every step that you see the ditch into 
which you must fall. Otherwise you will never arrive. 

Yet is there uncertainty and much tribulation and 
weariness in life. Wherefore the Lord, pitying us, lets 
us pray "Deliver us from evil" ; that is deliver us from 
life. And our Lord Himself prayed that same prayer, 
for He said, 'With desire have I desired this last night 
of earthly life ' ; which shows His weariness. And truly 
we do not live in such suffering as did the good Jesus, 
whose whole life was one cross — our ingratitude ever 
before Him, and the many offences against His Father, 
and the many souls how they lose themselves ! But at 
last He sat down on the right hand of God in everlasting 
rest ; and so shall we also rest with Him. And because 
at the last the prayer says, Amen, I understand that we 
may expect and pray for that great consummation. 

But in this world we shall not be relieved of the many 
temptations and imperfections, and even sins. Do not 


think it ; for it says " He that thinkcth he is without sin, 
deceiveth himself." 

All Lord ! deliver me from that evil also ; and raise 
me where is all good — there where the Sun of Righteous- 
ness never sets ! I know not how I live an hour here ! 
I ought not to live an hour in content ! My daughters, 
it is absurd {burla) not to supplicate God to deliver us 
from evil ! It belongs to Perfection to make this petition ! 
The will of God would draw us to things eternal, things 
great and lofty, things certain, while here all is uncertain 
and mean. What does it cost to ask great things of Him 
who is powerful ? Would you not feel shame to ask an 
emperor for a farthing ? 

But to keep us right, let us leave the giving to His 
will ; for we have given our wills to Him ; hallowed be 
His name in the heaven and on the earth ; and in me may 
His will be done. Amen. 

In all Teresa's writings there is no more characteristic 
passage, at once ecstatic and homely, full of saintly resigna- 
tion and divine discontent, than these concluding words of 
the Pathway of Perfection. 

The folio manuscript of Las Moradas is among the 
treasures at the Convent of San Jose in Seville. An exact 
copy was made in 1754 for the Biblioteca Real of Madrid, 
and another in 1760 for the archives of the Carmelites. Both 
these copies are now in the National Library. The first 
printed copy was edited by Fray Luis de Leon. Las Moradas 
was written by command of Teresa's superiors at the time 
when her Vida had been impounded by the Inquisition, 
and it was thought that the treatise on Prayer contained 
in it would be lost. The new book goes over much of the 
same ground both in the Vida and the Camino, more 
systematically than in the latter, with riper experience and 


fuller knowledge than in the former. The last of Teresa's 
works Las Moradas is also the greatest, in her own opinion 
as well as in that of the most competent critics. " The 
smith who made it," says the writer, " now knew more of 
his business." This smith was a woman of sixty-two, 
broken by penance, overwhelmed by chronic illness, 
half paralysed, with a broken arm, exiled and confined at 
the time she wrote (1571) in a convent of great poverty, after 
ten years of incessant journeying ending in persecution 
and disappointments. It gives an idea of her inner life at 
the time when she seemed most absorbed in outward affairs. 

The title of the book Las Moradas refers no doubt 
to^the verse, " In ]\Iy Father^s house are; Miahy maiisrcrns.**" 
^y the Father's house Teresa here understands the soul, 
that seat of the kingdpmof heaven which is jwithin. The 
original title, El Castillo_Interior , {The Interior Castle) 
makes the idea clear. ^^ 

" A castle it is, all made of diamond, in which are many 
rooms, as in heaven there are many mansions. For what, 
my sisters, is a good man's soul but a little paradise, in 
which God says He taketh His delight ? Let us not be 
ashamed to consider this castle ; for since God made it in 
His own image we must understand that it has great 
dignity and beauty." 

Keeping to her simile Teresa describes the body as the 
setting or surrounding of the castle ; a place of mist and 
marsh and noxious reptiles. Many persons never penetrate 
to the interior castle at all, for they know not the door of 
entry. That door is Prayer, vocal and mental both. 

The many mansions (by which Teresa means states or 
conditions of the soul) are not to be thought of as one 
above the other ; rather as enfolding one another, above 
and below at once, and on every side ; like the successive 
coats of a nut. To arrive at the kernel, you must strip 


off enfolding liiisk after husk. And the things of the 
soul are to be thought of broadly, with plenitude and width 
and greatness ; for the capacity of the soul is much more 
than we think. And every part of the castle is open 
to the sun, one part not obscuring another as might be 
fancied from the figure of the enclosing circles, 

^ThQ.first_inn.nsioa is tlie-Gbftmber of Humility, in-which 
one must be content to stay so long as God wills, and 
which afterwards must be often revisited. It includes 
obedjen ce, a nd kindness to on& 's fellows. 

In the_second mansion therms more labour, but also 
more hope of reaching to the very centre. For now the 
ears of the^sourTrre ©peiT-,-and:"TTie voice of the Lord is 
heard ; in books, for instance, in sermons, in the speech 
of good people, also in trouble or sickness. The devil 
makes great resistance at this stage ; the poisonous serpents 
which infest the marshes surrounding the castle, are 
allowed to creep in, and even sometimes to bite ; all of 
which redounds to experience and to profit both of the 
soul herself and of others. He who would prove the anti- 
dote, must first taste the poison. We are not therefore to 
be surprised if sometimes we fall ; even from a fall God can 
and does bring good. 

Nor must we pray for spiritual favours. Does not God 
know what is best for us ? Does He require our counsel ? 
Not on favours, not on any sort of self-interest must our 
castle oe lounded, for that is building on the sand. The 
will of God is the rock for our foundation ; and carrying 
the cross is our daily business. And_^ the- -key to .this 
mansion^ as_ to the others, is oracion (prayer) ; .and look- 
ing within is _gQDdr but much better is Jooking at Christ 
who said, '^Jfe that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.' 

In thejthird mansiDii begins assurance of salvation. But 
this does not mean absolute security, for no such thing is 


for this life. In this life we must never forget we have 
enemies at the gate ; we must not eat or sleep but with 
arms in our hands. " Never, my sisters," cries Teresa, 
think that because you belong to this Order, and have 
the Virgin for your mother, and live in enclosure and 
penance, or even in constant prayer and converse with 
God, never think you are secure ! Remember the sin of 
David, the fall of Solomon. Believe me, it_is^ not, the garb 
of religio n that will keep jygu saff. , hn t the .exercise of 
virtue. Your fear and love of God must not be a mere 
work of imagination, but must be proved by works. Not 
that God has any need for our works which are of no worth 
except for the determination of the will ! " 

The rest of this chapter on the third mansion is rather 
obscure ; the contention being, however, that now the 
soul has caught sight of the deeper mysteries and feels 
that she will eventually attain to them. 

In the. ^^onrfVi mandnn fVip fhingf^ cjupprn-aj-nral begin 

Teresa alludes tCLwhat, she_wrpte on this s.ubjp.r.t-in th^J(ida 
but says, thank G od, she has had a littlejnore light on the 
^matter since..^ In. this fourth mansion (whj£h_ in a fo Thier 
writing she called the Prayer of _Qmet) we get nearer to 
the seat of the KingyandThings-.-so-bgautiful, so delicate, 
are to be seen and known there that they cannot be told 
or understood b}' him who knows them not : these are 
gusios (enjoyments) very different from the contentos 
(satisfaction) of the earlier mansions. Contentos are not 
so very different from earthly pleasures, such as we feel 
in seeing a friend, or succeeding in some enterprize. In a 
word, they are the product of the understanding. But 
the gustos are not to be had by much thinking, but by much 
loving. And the signs of love are a great determination 
to please God in all things, and to pray for the honour of 
His Son, and for the augmentation of the Catholic Church. 


This is followed by some sensible remarks about morbid 

My sisters ! she says, do not think that all is lost if your 
thoughts sometimes wander to other things. There is a 
whole world within the soul, and it is no more possible to 
stop the working of imagination than to stop the velocity of 
the earth. J tell you the at p^eacein the inaer^ 
n^ Qij^t mansion with the Lord, while alltlic time the imagina- 
tion is~4ji the arrahal (outskirts, suburb) of the^castle, 
fighting^with the fierce s erpents, and doing well by.lhat 
labour l~ . Wandering thoughts are part of our inheritance 
from Adam which we can't do without ; like the daily 
bother of eating and drinking ! 

To point these remarks, Teresa gives one of her delight- 
fully homely illustrations. S^jie suffers^ she_gays, flQrn 

continual headaches and noises in her head, which almost 
prevent herefrom doing' her writing j_3^et_all the while her 
souTis aL-peace. Yet the pains are in the top"^ pair Foflier 
head, which they tell her is the seat of the soul. How can 
it be ?15Se~i:sn/t.e2^plain ;- but it is so ; she has pain and 
noises in the top part of her head, and yet her real soul is 
in perfect peace. 

Presently she returns to her favourite figure of Water ; 
the element she loves best ; which she has observed more 
closely than anything else (though indeed in everything 
God has m.ade, be it even a little ant, there must be great 
and profitable secrets — more than we can ever understand !) 
Well, imagine two fountains of water, filling two basins. 
The one stream comes busily by aqueducts and artifices ; 
the other springs up without noise and flows of itself, 
without material aids, in a great and fragrant stream. 
The first represents the contentos, which come of diligence 
and make commotion ; the second has its birthplace in 
God, and fills and overflows the soul, and produces suavity, 


and peace, and calm, and strength, in the innermost of our 
very selves, and is the very gift of God. This is what we 
call gustos — the Prayer of Quiet. A word of caution is, 
however, necessary. Beware, my sisters, of false con- 
ditions and counterfeits, in which physical symptoms and 
inertia are the chief signs. These may ruin the health 
without any corresponding deepening of the soul's life. 
Persons who, when they try to pray, sink into a state of 
stupidity, should consult their superiors and be ordered 
a course of bodily strengthening. If this doesn't cure 
them, it is probable that God intends them for the active 
offices of the convent, and does not wish them to be over 
sohtary. For God is not served by weakness of head, 
but by fire of heart and strength of soul. 

I am half afraid to continue this brief and most in- 
adequate abstract of Teresa's greatest work ; but her 
conception of the mysteries of communion with God is 
fundamental, and to omit all detail of it would be to 
distort both her doctrine and her biography. We may not 
share or even understand her raptures ; at least let us 
try to learn what she thought about them. 

O sisters ! she cries, how can I describe the rich- 
ness and the treasures and the joys of the fifth mansion ! 
No illustrations will be of use, for the things of earth are 
very base in comparison with that glory. Those who get 
to the door of this mansion are many ; yet few of us so 
dispose ourselves that the Lord may discover to us its 
secrets. It is the free gift of the Lord ; but it depends 
upon ourselves whether we receive it ! Now this matter 
of Union is not a thing dreamed like the Prayer of Quiet. 
I say, dreamed, for in the Prayer of Quiet the soul is as it 
were hushed half asleep, which is the condition of dream. 
But in this other, the soul is altogether asleep to the things 
of the world, and to the things of self ; to some it seems 


as il liic itsull is suspended. There is no iniuginulion, 
nor memory, nor understanding left to impede the boon. 
Nor can the devil enter to do harm ; for His Majesty is so 
joined and united with the essence of the soul that the devil 
dare not approach. Oh ! the greatness of the boon ! to 
be safe from that cursed one's assault, to be where God 
can work without disturbance even from ourselves ! The 
time of this condition is always short ; God has placed 
the soul in a state of intellectual foolishness (boberia) that 
He may in that short space imprint upon her the divine 
wisdom. He so impresses Himself that the soul can have 
no doubt He has been present with her. Years may 
pass before it be so again ; yet will she never forget or 
doubt it. It is not a vision. It is a certainty that God 
alone can give. 

Let us make a comparison with the silkworm.. The 
life oixfiligious exercises is like the mulberry leaves by which 
the worm_grows. The ball of silJLiii .which it lies dormaiit_ 
or dead, is Christ. " Our life is hidLwith Cfer4st4»-God,''-r^- 
it may be only-fos^-half-aa-iiiiLir. But there issues forth 
from the ball of silk a white butterfly. Oh, wonder of God ! 
which can make an ugly worm into a white butterfly ! 
The butterfly remembers no more the travail of the worm, 
which was little by little to spin its cocoon of silk ; now it 
has wings and need no longer crawl. 

Teres a often refers again to .this parable of the silk- 
^worm. She feels, however, that it is not adequate to what 
she wishes to express, and she tries again. 

For more exact uaderstanding^ of this Prayer of Union, 
let us have-another comparison: that of marriage. It 
may seem a rude comparison ; 'But there is none more 
apt ; and, indeed, there is nothing without its spiritual 
side, and this particular corporeal comparison will carry us 
far. For it is all a matter of love with love, and its opera- 


tions are most pure and most delicate, and sweeter than 
can be told ; though of course the gustos (joys) which the 
Lord gives to His chosen bride have no likeness whatsoever 
to the pleasures of an earthly spouse. 

^eresa goes on to call this fifth mansion^JJie^spiritual 
betrothal^T^the severLtlTmansion being_ the Xjonsummation 
of the spiritual marriage with the heavenly__bride- 

Before reaching the consummat ion, h owe¥£r,__tIie_spul 
must pass through the sixth-JOansion, where sheiaji^ounded*:: 
-and in her suffering seeks a solitude. 

This chapter is largely autobiographical ; Teresa looks 
back upon the sorrows she endured at the time when it was 
not believed that she was led by God. She speaks of 
friends who stand aloof and tell the " poor one " that 
she is possessed, or deceives her confessors, that she should 
act like such an one, or will be lost like such another. 
And there are some who praise ; and praise for many 
reasons is itself a torture. (How that one sentence reveals 
Teresa's sensitiveness and delicacy !) There are also great 
infirmities of body. 

I know a person, she says, meaning of course herself, 
who from the time the Lord began to visit her with these 
favours, forty years ago, can truly say she has never 
passed a day without pain. To be sure, it was little in 
comparison with her deserts, and she would always choose 
the path of suffering if only to imitate her Lord. And what 
was infirmity of body in comparison with the grief that her 
spiritual directors did not believe in the poor soul and sought 
to rob her of her faith itself ? The only remedy in such 
case is to wait for the Lord's mercy ; and He with a single 
word can give such consolation that amid the clouds the 
soul feels in a blaze of sunlight — Uke one victorious in a 
bloody fray. 


Do you ask in what way the mercy comes ? Some- 
times suddenly ; like a comet. His Majesty touches her, 
and all passes like a lightning flash. She has been wounded, 
but most sweetly — never would she seek to be healed 
of that wound. Her only fear is of ingratitude ; and she 
resolves on greater diligence and a bettering of her whole life. 
Or there will be ecstasies and visions, both imaginary and 

Here Teresa interrupts herself to answer the question 
— interesting, because the very question we are inclined 
to ask to-day — " What is the good of all this to the soul ? 
What do these experiences prove ? " Her answer is of 
course subjective and not very straight. 

O daughters ! if I could describe to you the resultant 
good ! It is so great I could not exaggerate ! I cannot 
describe it ; yet there it is at the bottom of my heart and 
never will it be forgotten though there be no definite image 
and my mind is incapable of understanding it. A fixed 
sense remains of God's greatness ; firm enough to convert 
the faithless — even as Jacob was converted by the sight 
of the ladder ; even as Moses could not tell the things he 
saw in the burning bush ! Look you, (this is one of 
her homely illustrations), once I visited by command 
a great personage — the Duchess of Alva — in her house. 
I saw so much, I was so impressed by many things that 
I could carry very little away. Really now I quite forget 
all those fine rooms and the things contained there, just 
as if I had never seen them ! Yet I learned much from 
them ; and the learning and the sense of their greatness 
remains. Thus it is when the Soul is brought into that 
heaven of the Empyraean which we have in the innermost : 
then we are put into an ecstasy and our soul is made one 
with God and He shows us secret and glorious and very 
profitable things. But afterwards — what can one say ? 


For the human and the natural does not suffice for the 
supernatural which God has shown. 

Teresa goes on to define the different ecstasies, much as 
they are set down in the text-books of mystical theology ; 
indeed the later ones quote largely from her analysis. 
What is called the Flight of the Spirit is so swift a motion 
of the soul as to be terrifying. The soul is torn forth, 
and (as she has read) sometimes the body also ; and sent 
one knows not whither ; and at the first moment of the 
flight one feels no certainty that the thing is of God. 
But resistance is no more possible than it is to the straw 
which is raised by the amber. You remember the fountain 
of water and the gentle fulness with which God fills the 
little basin of our souls ? But now with a great impetus 
He raises so great a wave that the little ship of our souls 
is lifted up on high ; and as in a ship no pilot nor crew 
is so skilful as to control her when the waves rise in fury, 
much less can a soul be unmoved when the force of the 
Lord's power carries it away. 

In this passage there is allusion to the wonders of 
aerial transits reported of Peter of Alcantara and others. 
Teresa expresses herself with reserve ; nor in this latest 
of her writings have I found as distinct allusion to her 
own less sensational levitations as she makes in the Vida. 
I am inclined to think she had become doubtful of the 
objective reality of levitation in her own case, though prob- 
ably she believed in the general possibility of such miracles 
for great saints — a class in which she never ranged herself. 
She was still under the thraldom of the words " up " and 
" down " speaking of the soul and even of the body as 
being lifted up to God. The later and more reasonable 
explanation of these phenomena by those who accept 
them, is that the body of a saint partakes in some measure 
and for brief periods of the characteristics of the glorified 


body which is not subject to all the laws of nature ; the 
body in which Christ appeared at the Transfiguration 
and after the Resurrection, the body which all believers 
expect to have in the future state. Teresa seems to have 
some idea of this explanation when she says, still speaking 
of these raptures, " I think it may be that the spirit goes 
forth from the body as the rays go forth from the sun." 

" Truly," she cries, " I know not what I write ! All 
I know is that as the bullet goes from the arquebus when 
the fire touches it, so in one instant, without noise, yet so 
evidently that it cannot be fancy, the spirit is torn forth. 
And when it returns to itself, it is with great gain. For the 
soul has been in a region very different from that in which 
we live ; and has seen another light, not like the light of 
this world ; and in one moment has learned more a 
thousand times than ever could be learned by the power 
of the imagination or by the labour of thought." 

The emphatic caution which follows this outburst is 
very characteristic of Teresa, who in her loftiest moods 
keeps a firm hold on reality and practical sense. 

" On no account let the soul which has received these 
favours imagine that she may fly away altogether from 
things corporeal, or forego the usual spiritual exercises 
or despise her companions. Did not our Lord take upon 
Himself humanity ? and did not He and His apostles 
labour and work ? H any one tells me that she spends her 
whole time in prayer and ecstasy, I suspect her very much, 
and doubt it can be as she says, or if so that it is of God. 
I counsel her with all her might to rouse herself from 
such stupefaction, and get something to do, so as to be 
delivered from this great peril to the understanding. I 
wish you, my sisters, to meditate much upon this that 
I say, so you shall not lose yourselves in a fancied spiritu- 
ality which is very different from real spirituality." 


At last she comes J:Q--lli£.^yent h mans ioxu the inner^ 
most, the consummation. Perhaps some of her daughters 
thought it disappointing and tame after the raptures 
described in the preceding pages. 

For now, says Teresa, the soul is no longer deprived^ 
. of its senses in ecstasy. Now the scales fall from 
the eyes and blessedness Ts understood and known. In 
this mansion the vision is intellectual ; the soul receives ^ 
representation of the Truth. It is shown._thg Trinity ; 
'lis in a clou^ of immense clearness. It is in. communion 
with all the Three Persons ; even as the Lord promised 
Xhey would come down and dwell with that soul which 
loves God and keeps His commandments. But the out- 
ward life goes on ; while always in the soul is a steady 
light, felt even in the midst of all business, of all trials : 
it is as though the soul were in some fashion divided 
^ within itself ; and its essence remains fixed in the seventh 
mansion which is the seat of God. Now indeed the mari- 
posica (little butterfly) ^ has found repose ! It is no 
longer she who lives, but Christ who lives in her. Out- 
wardly she performs all the duties and necessities of her 
life on earth ; but she has no care for anything except as 
it is to the honour of God. She has great desire for suff er- 
ring, yet no longer with disquiet ; for she is absorbed in 
the will of God, and if He does not-will suffering for her, 
she accepts ease with^pa^n ce, and if He wills persecution, 
it cannot rob her of her joy. Nor does she so much wish 
to die for Jesus ; rather she would live many years doing 
and suffering in His service. There is no more dryness, 
jipr interior disturbance ; the very devil fears to enter. 
xThe ecstasies, the raptures, the flight of the soul^are 
_over ; or come seldom and with no terror as before. Weak- * 
_^ness has been taken away ; the Tnrd hfl '^.^urecljn to the ^ 

^ Continuing the metaphor of the silkworm. 


s oul strength and fortitude and wisdom. Quietly, noise- 
lessly, the work of grace goes on. It is like the building 
of Solomon, in which was heard no noise of hammer, nor 
of any tool. Almost uninterruptedly the days pass on in 
quietness and peace. 

Only^ you must ta kp r^yp nnf f n get away from Christ, 
-ar forget thatj even now it i_s _BQSSil)le.to_lgse it all. What 
do you think is the object of all this inspiration of which 
I have told you ? That you should be lulled to sleep ? 
Not so ; but that you should fight much more vigorously 
and use all your powers spiritual and bodily to God's 
glory. Did not all God's saints, our father Elias, and the 
Magdalen, and St. Francis, and St. Dominic, and others, do 
great penitences and work hard to the very end ? Believe 
me, Martha and Mary are both required to entertain the 
Lord Jesus, If Mary was praised for her contemplation 
we know that already she had washed the Lord's feet ; 
and suffered great mortification in doing so, going alone 
through the streets and entering a house she did not 
know, and going about among bad people, and being 
insulted by the Pharisee. 

I tell you, 'tis a trick of the demonio, that filling us 
with great desires and high aspirations, so that we refuse 
the work lying at our hand ! Declining to serve the 
Lord in things possible, we are quite content because we 
have desired the impossible ; and because we want to 
profit the whole world, we neglect to serve the sisters 
with whom we live. 

Following on this homely advice, are Teresa's conclud- 
ing words. 

" My sisters, let us not build towers without founda- 
tions. The Lord looks less upon the greatness of the work 
than upon the love ■s\dth which it is done ; and in so 
far as we do what we can. His Majesty will see to it, that 


each day we do more. And remembering that Hfe is so 
short, let us offer to the Lord from the interior and from 
the exterior, what sacrifice we can ; that His Majesty 
may join it to that sacrifice which He made upon the 
Cross, and present it to His Father. I tell you, it will 
have just the value which our will deserves, even though 
the thing done may be small. 

*' Pray God, sisters, we may all see each other there where 
for ever we shall praise Him ; and that He may give me 
grace to perform at least some of the things I have urged 
upon you ; for the merits of His Son who liveth and 
reigneth for evermore. I tell you it is altogether to my 
confusion to have written such things ; wherefore I pray 
you by the same Lord, forget not in your prayers, this poor 
and miserable Teresa. Amen." 

I fear I have after all, brought out more clearly these 
simple and practical parentheses, than the explanations of 
that mystic communion which is her principal theme. It 
is enough if I have indicated tlje supreme_.importance. 
v^ich she attached to the hidden._life of the soul; and 
have explained in some measure what it was made the 
close of her life with all its tumult and its cares, a path of 
glory ; what was the secret source of the attraction and 
the efficiency of her whole character and personality. 



WE now enter upon the second part of Teresa's 
work and see her involved in the war between the 
Calced and the Discalced branches of the CarmeUte 
Order, which ended a few years later in their formal 
separation. The conflict, disastrous at first, was caused 
largely by the fanaticism of the early Discalced fathers, 
who had not the tact, courtesy and grave good sense of 
their mother, Teresa de Jesus. 

The first monasteries at Duruelo and Pastrana had 
quickly become notorious for the extraordinary asceticism 
of the inmates, their excesses of mortification and penance. 
True, the condition of the friars was not quite so far 
removed from everyday existence as it seems to us. We 
have raised material things and the care of our bodies to 
an importance never dreamed of in simpler ages. We 
grumble if a bell strikes work or a chimney smokes ; 
inevitably we should learn a good deal of asceticism if 
transported to the sixteenth century ! Then, luxury was 
not unknown, but comfort was very far from havdng 
arrived. The badness of the roads made the transport 
of provisions so difficult that most people were dependent 
on the state of the harvest and condition of the farm 
animals in their immediate neighbourhood ; all water 
had to be fetched. An advanced city like Seville still 
flung all its household refuse on the street pavements, 


and neglected to sweep even its principal streets oftener 
than thrice a year. The hermits of Pastrana and Duruelo 
had to invent aggravations of the general scarcity and 
discomfort. They lived on bread and water, or mixed 
ashes with their beans ; they did not speak ; they refused 
even to look at each other ; they scourged themselves 
and went to their work bleeding from open sores. They 
walked barefoot over the mountains, teaching in the 
neighbouring hamlets or in the palaces of the great. Their 
fame spread ; they became objects of reverence far and 
wide. When Fernandez, the Apostolical Visitor, came to 
Pastrana, he arrived on foot, and fasted, and flagellated 
with the brethren ; " for " said he, " one who visits saints 
must come in humility." 

Fernandez stayed some time. He gave leave for a 
third monastery, at Altomira, and for the college at Alcala, 
both of which were quickly founded, the reformers being 
joined by many deserters from the Calced Carmelites, 
(also called the Observants, and frequently by Teresa, the 
padres del pano : the fathers of the cloth as distinguished 
from the fathers of the frieze). 

Meanwhile, the colleague of Fernandez, Vargas, also a 
Dominican, was visiting in Andalucia. He found great 
laxity in the monasteries of his district and became 
anxious to introduce the reform. He invited Baltazar 
de Jesus to come from Pastrana and found a monastery 
at Granada. Baltazar declined. Soon afterwards, two 
Discalced friars went to Granada ostensibly on business ; 
Vargas took them prisoner, said they were now under 
his jurisdiction and must remain in Andalucia. They 
were willing enough, and he sent them to the Observant 
monastery of San Juan del Puerto near Huelva, to teach 
the reform. Two of the Observants were turned out to 
make room for the Castillians, a proceeding not very 


likely to conciliate the Calced party, already throughout 
the country jealous of the deserters from their Rule who 
were posing as saints. 

The Carmelite reform received presently a powerful 
auxiliary in Fray Diego de Leon, titular bishop of Columbria 
(" an island," says the chronicler, " once situated in 
Scotland ") who induced the whole colony of hermits 
at La Pefiuela to join it. Soon afterwards a monastery 
was founded at Granada. The kidnapping of friars had 
become a regular system, connived at by the two 
ApostoHcal Visitors, Fernandez and Vargas, but unre- 
cognized by the Carmelite superiors. In this manner 
Baltazar de Jesus was caught for Andalucia ; and soon 
after his arrival Vargas asked for two more " friars of 
importance " to be sent to him for work at Seville. The 
selected friars, who got permission from the Provincial 
on the usual excuse of private business, were Mariano de 
San Benito, the fiery Genoese, and Jeronimo de la Madre 
de Dios, the celebrated and ill-starred Gracian, whom 
Teresa loved as a son and considered beyond question 
the best man among her friars. 

At this time Gracian was barely twenty-eight years 
of age and had been but a short time in the Order. He 
was of noble birth, his father and brother high in office 
under Charles v and Philip. Jeronimo had been educated 
by the Jesuits. After a brilliant University career he had 
intended to join the Society ; but falling under the influence 
of the Discalced Carmelites he threw in his lot with them 
and became a novice at Pastrana. Gracian's great abilities, 
his charming disposition, his training by the Jesuits, who 
do not wish their sons to get out of touch with the world, 
marked him as a man of a different stamp from his brother 
friars. It is a question if they ever liked or trusted him ; 
certainly they were jealous of his rapid promotion ; for 


with his qualities it was impossible to keep him in a sub- 
ordinate position. 

Mariano and Gracian arrived at Granada in September 
i573j to find that Vargas had been given office by the 
Dominicans, and was anxious to lay down^his commission 
as Apostolical Visitor to the Carmelites. The moment he 
saw Gracian he decided to appoint him his successor. The 
young man had no mind to this unexpected dignity, and 
when Angel de Salazar, the Provincial, angrily summoned 
both him and Mariano to return to Pastrana he wished 
to obey. Vargas made the usual excuse ; the pair were 
now his subjects and he ordered them to stay where they 
were. Vargas appointed Gracian his Vicar in the office of 
Apostolical Visitor, and provided him with two Patents, 
to be shown only in case of necessity, one of which gave 
him absolute authority over the Discalced, the other over 
the Calced Carmelites of Andalucia. Then he bade him 
get to work introducing the reform at Seville. 

Gracian's first action was to restore the monastery of 
San Juan del Puerto to the Observants from whom it had 
been taken. The reformed friars who had been there he 
took with him to Seville, and lodged them in the Observant 
monastery till he could find them a house. The Observants 
were not pleased, and relations between the two parties 
became increasingly strained. 

But Don Cristobal de Rojas y Sandoval, the Arch- 
bishop of Seville, welcomed Gracian and his friars with open 
arms, and soon established them in the Hermitage of 
Nuestra Sehora de los Remedios at Triana ; the monastery 
being formally but secretly opened early in 1574. The 
Observants were greatly annoyed, the more so that this 
shrine of Our Lady of Refuge was one of importance and 
great popular devotion. 

Suspicion arose that Gracian was acting for Vargas ; 


and loud voices were already saying that"] Vargas was 
exceeding his commission. The Observants appealed to 
the king. Philip investigated the matter, took advice 
from the Archbishop, and decided in favour of the re- 
formers. The Observants appealed to the Pope. He 
consulted Rossi (Rubco), the Carmelite General, and 
presently revoked the commissions given to Fernandez 
and Vargas. The revocation, however, was not to come 
into force, or to be made public for another year ; mean- 
while the Papal Nuncio, Hormaneto, declared for the 
reform, confirmed the commission of Vargas and that 
of Gracian, his Vicar and substitute. The position, com- 
plicated by the perennial rivalry between the Spanish 
King and the Pope, was very perplexing when the Pope 
and his representative, the Nuncio, were at variance. 
The Nuncio, actually on the spot and supported by 
Philip, had the advantage. 

But the attitude of the General made the reformers 
anxious ; they remembered too that the office of Nuncio 
is temporary. It was thought advisable that Gracian 
should go to Madrid and speak himself with the king, with 
Covarrubias, the President of the Royal Council, and 
with Quiroga, the Grand Inquisitor, already spoken of as 
the next Primate. 

At this time Teresa was at Veas in the Sierra Morena. 
From the quiet of her Castillian convents she had watched 
the signs of approaching storm. She had not yet openly 
declared herself on the side of the Andalucian reformers. 
The friars were not governed by herself nor had she always 
approved their fanaticism. Her own commission was only 
for Castille ; she had kept the General informed of every 
step she had taken and had drawn up the Constitution 
of her convents with his approbation. There was nothing 
in her houses of which he could disapprove and it does not 


appear he was ever unfriendly to them. She had not 
gone to Veas with any intention of changing her attitude 
to her superiors. Nevertheless she was watching the 
storm. She heard growls of distant thunder ; there had 
been more than one flash of vivid lightning. Before 
leaving Segovia, she had a vision of Saint Albert, who 
prophesied to her the approaching division of the Order ; 
evidence, it seems to me, that her mind was already con- 
sidering the future of the reform. 

Teresa had gone to Veas believing it to be in Castille. 
though Maria Bautista had warned her it was across 
the border. Topography was a difficult science in those 
days, and Teresa answered her niece, that there were two 
places named Veas, and she was going to the one in Castille. 
It was not till after the convent had been founded that she 
discovered Maria Bautista had been right. Teresa was 
distressed. She proposed to return at once to her rightful 
province and to occupy herself about the desired convent 
at Madrid. 

Just then she received a visit from the young Vicar 
Apostolic, Fray Jeronimo Gracian, who was on his way 
to the capital for his interview with the king. 

Probably Gracian had been thinking what a help the 
great Mother would be at Seville ; at any rate he wished 
to make her acquaintance, and receive her advice. In the 
first moment of their meeting they began a friendship 
which lasted without interruption to the end of Teresa's 
life, and remained with Gracian as a most cherished and 
venerated memory. 

Teresa has left on record the delightful impression the 
young man made upon her. She wrote to the prioress at 
Medina : — 

" The Father has been here twenty days. They have 
been the best days of my life ! To my eyes he is perfect. 



I have never seen such perfection conjoined with such 
gentleness. What we must all do, is to pray God to give 
him to us for our superior. Then at last I shall have 
some rest in the management of these houses. I would 
not for anything have missed seeing him and conversing 
with him. JuHan de Avila has lost his heart to him. So 
has everybody. He preaches most excellently. He has 
been here waiting for Mariano, who I am glad to say delays 
his coming." 

Thus she wrote to her cousin and intimate friend, never 
guessing that her enthusiasm would be read by strangers 
tempted to smile at the admiration of a woman of sixty 
for an attractive young divine. In the Book of the 
Foundations she writes more dryly — 

" He is a man of much learning and intelligence and 
modesty ; remarkable during his whole life for great 
virtues ; it seems that Our Lady has chosen him out for 
the reform of our Order. When I saw him, I thought 
that even those who praised had not really known him ; 
and it seemed to me that the Lord showed me the good that 
would come to us through him." 

Teresa found in Gracian a spiritual sympathy that she 
had found in no other of her directors. At once she was 
willing to submit herself to him, recognizing apparently 
that in some definite way he was wiser and better than 
herself. She made a special vow to obey him, as if 
his voice were the voice of God. That seems extravagant ; 
but her grief had often been that her directors, young and 
old alike, had not seemed to speak to her with the voice 
of God. At last she had found one essentially superior, 
and obedience to him was a work of love. 

There can be no doubt that Gracian was a man of very 
exceptional capacity ; that a woman like Teresa thought 
so must be strong evidence to the fact. Again and again 


she says there is no one so competent for the first place ; 
for the task of organization, concihation, unifying, ruHng. 
She said this after the first dehrium of her delight had 
passed away ; and her clear eye, by no means blind to his 
faults, had pierced the mists which age and sex had un- 
consciously created. But to the last there is a peculiar 
tenderness in her manner towards him. He is like a 
son to her ; a solace to her starved heart, a spiritual heir 
who would carry on her work and make it perfect. Gracian 
had many enemies and in the end they overwhelmed him. 
But in Teresa he had a staunch and trusting friend who 
constantly defended and praised him alike to friends and 
foes, who strengthened his hands, and helped him con- 
stantly with advice and at times also with reproof. Now 
that passion and controversy are over, it seems plain that 
he was worthy of her confidence ; though after the first 
few months it is plain also that her influence over him 
was vastly greater than his influence over her. At first, 
however, he beguiled her into a step that to us looks a 
little questionable, a little too much like the fashionable 
sixteenth century sharp practice and intrigue. Gracian 
told her that in his character as Deputy Apostolical Visitor, 
recognized by the Nuncio, his authority was superior to 
that of the General who had forbidden her to found convents 
outside Castille ; also that being at Veas of Andalucia she 
was already in the province of Vargas and owed obedience 
to him. As Vargas's vicar, Gracian ordered Teresa to 
Seville, there to found a convent, as was desired by the 
Archbishop and by many others. 

And Teresa obeyed. She had heard her Lord's voice 
bidding her go to Madrid ; but she obeyed Gracian. He 
was surprised himself, and asked her. Why ? 

" Because," she answered him, " I may be deceived as 
to a revelation, but I can never be wrong in Obedience." 


Perhaps she was right. I do not feel sure. In the 
years of trouble and anxiety which followed, some have 
thought she was punished. But such an idea never 
seems to have crossed her own mind. She was led by 
the Lord ; how could she have made a false step ? 

In decision of character lay one of Teresa's claims to 
greatness. Not in any of her writings, not in her familiar 
letters, will you find that, " Why did I do this ? " " If 
I had but done that ! " "If only I might live that year 
over again ! " which is the wail of the fretful and the weak. 

Gracian went on to Madrid, where he accomplished 
his business satisfactorily. His authority was confirmed, 
and even increased by jurisdiction given him also over the 
Discalced in Castille. 

Teresa and six nuns, Julian de Avila, Antonio Gaitan, 
and one Discalced friar, set out for Seville, just before 
Pentecost {Pascua del Espiritu Santo). It was summer, and 
they travelled in their stifling covered carts. " I tell you, 
my daughters," writes jTeresa, in the Book of the Founda- 
tions, " the heat was such that it seemed as if the whole sun 
was streaming into our vehicles, and entering them was like 
stepping into Purgatory. Still the sisters went along with 
great cheerfulness, thinking they were bearing something 
for God, and reflecting that hell would be even hotter." 

Teresa herself fell into a fever, and became delirious, 
so they had to pause at an inn. 

" We were given only a garret in the roof which had no 
window, and when we opened the door in streamed the 
sun, not like the sun of Castille, but much more importu- 
nate. They put me in a bed ; but I really wished they 
had thrown me on the floor ; for what stuffing there was 
in that bed seemed of sharp stones, and some parts were 
so high and some so low that I did not know how to dispose 
myself on it. At last I thought I had better get up and go 


out ; for the sun in the fields could be nothing to the sun 
in that room, and to pass from one suffering, even to 
another, is some relief. (Ah ! those poor folk in hell who 
can make no change ! ") 

A little later, crossing the Guadalquivir by a ferry, the 
ladies were all nearly drowned. The boat was getting 
washed downstream, the priest, the friar, and Antonio 
Gaitan pulled manfully at the rope. It broke, all the men 
fell down, and away went the boat with the seven nuns and 
one boatman. On the shore stood the boatman's little son 
in an agony about his father, and Teresa was more affected 
by the weeping child and the toiling agonizing boatman than 
by the actual danger. Happily the boat stuck on a sand- 
bank and the nuns were able to get out unhurt. Minor dis- 
asters are described by Padre Julian. How the heat was such 
that all the food went bad on the second day of the journey ; 
how at the inns water was so scarce that a cupful cost more 
than a stoup of wine ; how Gregory the friar was laughed at 
by brawlers who presently fell a-fighting — a sorry spectacle 
for the nuns, sitting there in their carts outside because 
this particular venta was too dirty for them to enter it. 

At last, at early morn of Whitsun Eve, they arrived at 
Cordova, hurrjdng much to get through the town and 
hear Mass at a church on the other side of the river before 
folk were about. But when they tried to cross the bridge 
they heard they must have a permit from the corregidor. 
Padre Julian trudged off to get it, and, poor soul ! was not 
back for two hours. By this time people were up, and he 
found a crowd round the carts trying to see the nuns. He 
waved the corregidor s permit, the gates were thrown open ; 
and behold ! the carts were too wide to pass through, so 
a carpenter had to be fetched to saw bits off them. 

When after a long time they got to the church, they 
found it quite full of people keeping high festival and 



listening to a sermon. The Mother wanted to go on with the 
journey; but Padre JuHanwas determined to have Mass, and 
" as he was a theologian," says Teresa, " we had to obey." 

The nuns walked into the church, their veils covering 
their faces ; conspicuous, however, with their white capes 
and their alpargatas. The excitement of the people was 
as great as if they saw bulls coming in for a bull fight. The 
nuns were hustled ; and so great was Teresa's agitation 
that it quite cured her of her fever. A man helped the 
party into a side chapel and Julian began his Mass without 
waiting for leave from the priest of the church. This 
personage presently appeared, much scandalized and 
offended. He obtruded himself on the ceremony, and 
the moment it was over burst into noisy reproof. The 
man who had helped them into the chapel now protected 
them as they left the church ("a kindness for which God 
rewarded him a few days later, when he unexpectedly came 
into a fortune "). They escaped from the crowd and took 
refuge in some empty pig-styes under the bridge, where 
they rested till the town was quieter and they could resume 
their journey. The holy Mother put life into them all 
with her wise and witty talk, sometimes moving them 
to laughter, sometimes improvising rhymes, sometimes 
saying words of great pith and moment. None of them 
ever forgot that morning in Cordova. 

But their church was not that great former mosque with 
its thousand aisles in which they could surely have found 
a secluded corner. Nuns do not go sight-seeing, and there is 
nothing in Teresa's description to make us suppose she took 
the faintest interest in that giant monument of a fallen race. 

She did not like Andalucia at all ; its climate, its 
people, manners, or customs. The whole year she was 
there she counted the days till she might return to her dear 
Castille; to her grey and wind-swept home — walled Avila. 



AT this time Seville was at the height of her glory, 
the busiest, the richest, the most fashionable 
town in Spain. The old saw of the Conquistador es 
was quoted in many senses : — A quien Dios quiso hien, en 
Sevilla le did a comer " (Whom God loved, to him He 
granted to eat in Seville). 

Seville had been conquered and largely rebuilt by the 
Moors, whose houses are still in use. Pleasant and beautiful 
houses they are (as I write I am sitting in one), seldom 
more than two storeys high, with rambling passages and 
large rooms. Some of these are shaded for summer, some 
sun-warmed and raised above the ground for winter ; all 
are built round one or more open-air courts rich with 
greenery, musical with plashing fountains. Through 
gates of open ironwork, the cool refreshment of these 
" patios " can be partly seen from the street. Otherwise 
the exterior of the houses is to this day very plain. In 
early times it was almost prison-like, and the chroniclers 
mention as a great advance, that in the fifteenth century 
men began to attend to the front as well as to the back 
of their habitations, whitewashing them, and piercing 
them with windows. The network-lanes among these 
houses are still so narrow that one cart cannot pass another, 
and the foot passenger is imperilled by the panniers of 



every donkey. Winding, monotonous in aspect, ill-paved 
and often miry, the lanes are shady even at noon ; and how 
beautiful they are at sunset time ! the light just catching 
the tops of tho houses, which shine with pink and gold 
and translucent white, though the footway below is already 
in deep shadow, the chaffering, gossiping crowd doing its 
marketing by streaming torchlight. 

Seville was taken by the King San Fernando in 1248. 
His uncorrupted body lies in the Cathedral, and is exhibited 
once a year, soldiers saluting the dead hero with their 
colours as they march past. The Moors were given a 
month in which to vacate ; then the Spaniards found 
themselves in a large and pleasant town, with well-built 
walls, fifteen gates, a navigable river and every convenience 
for commerce and daily life. The years and the centuries 
rolled on ; the town flourished ; by the sixteenth century 
it had become imposing. 

" Many nobles of high renown settled in Seville : in 
the streets were an infinite number of ladies, no less 
modest than charming, and most chaste duennas. No- 
where were there so many coaches, carriages, litters, 
nor such fine horsemanship. The religious of all sorts 
abounded, no less than captains, admirals, generals. 
People moved in from the country on almost each day of 
the year, and many arrived also by water." 

The stately Cathedral had gradually risen to perfec- 
tion on the site of the principal mosque — demolished 
with the exception of its beautiful tower, whose muezzin 
had been replaced by baptized bells and the figure of 
Santa Fe. Another legacy from the Moors was the 
excellent supply of fresh water brought in aqueducts 
from Carmona. The churches, the monasteries, the 
great houses all had their fountains ; and at least five 
public fountains brought water within reach of all. There 


were two great bathing establishments, open by day for 
women, for men by night. " With hot water and cold, 
and with a cleansing unguent, the ladies did clean their 
bodies continually without any one feeling surprise ; indeed 
they went to the baths quite openly ; for it had been the 
custom in Seville from times immemorial." 

Ah ! those ladies of Seville ! Their fame went to all parts 
of the kingdom. They were so clean, so fresh, so fond of 
exquisite scents ! They despised wool and went clad in 
silk with much embroidery and lace, and fringes and 
gimps, all of rainbow hues, brilliant and beautiful. Their 
skirts were very full, they walked very upright with small 
slow steps ; and they had a pretty fashion of covering 
the face with the silken shawls and looking forth with 
only one bright eye. And they trod the streets (with 
the chaste duennas) and showed themselves off ; they 
sat also at the new windows in the outside walls, and 
talked through iron bars to their lovers : as is still the 
custom. And the good old-fashioned folk said they 
neglected their household duties, lived for dress, and had 
neither manners nor modesty left. 

A wonder to all strangers was the richness of the shops 
in Seville, especially the Alcayceria where they sold gold 
and precious stones, and enamels, and brocades, and all 
other richnesses ; and there were silversmiths and sculptors 
and chasers and carvers, each trade having its own Alcalde 
who locked up all the treasure every night. And there 
was the Alhondiga where all provision for bread was 
stored, where were the ovens and the grinding stones ; 
and the Alhondiga had its own jurisdiction with its prison 
and instruments of torture, likewise its own chapel with 
altar and retablo. And at the meat market of San Isidro 
were forty-eight tables for weighing the meat, and a 
spacious patio with marble pillars, and it also had its 


chapel, and a loud bell for the summoning of all the 
butchers to hear Mass. 

Seville provided oil for the whole kingdom and for 
the Indies ; the immense quantities which passed through 
the custom-house is set forth by the figures of the Alcabala 
(tax). The white soap of Seville was famous and went 
to all parts of the world ; all made in two houses, and a 
monopoly of the Dukes of Alcald. But the salt mines 
had been a gift to the city by Doha Guiomar Manuel 
who greatly loved the poor ; and the salt was dis- 
pensed to the people three times a week. And on the 
grados, the famed platform steps of the Cathedral 
was always great buying and selling of wares many 
and diverse ; where likewise did thieves abound, and 
rogues both male and female (as may be read in the tale 
of Rinconete by one Miguel de Cervantes). Slaves 
too were bought and sold at Seville and in the rich houses 
were many of them and of great worth to their owners, 
(as Master Lope de Vega hath set forth in his plays). And 
gunpowder was made in the suburb of Triana ; but after 
an explosion which slew two hundred persons and more, 
it was commanded that the manufactory be removed 
beyond the houses. And nowhere was more care paid to 
the breeding and training of generous horses ; and a fair 
for all beasts one may ride was held thrice a week in the 
Plaza de Santa Catalina. 

The cause of all this wealth and stir in the town of 
Seville in the sixteenth century was that this was the 
port for the Indies of the West. No one^ could go to or 
from America without enregistering himself there, and 
passing his goods through the Casa de Contratacion, which 
stood by the Arenal harbour. It had its president, 
treasurer, officers, gaoler, and prison ; a chief pilot also, 
two cosmographers, examiners of ships, lecturers on 


astrology and other sciences pertaining to navigation. 
It was a sight to see the treasures and wonders which were 
brought from the Indies, and particularly the carts drawn 
by oxen for the transport of the gold. And missionaries 
in great numbers did come and go whose business was the 
carrying of the Catholic religion beyond the seas. And 
of foreigners was always great plenty in Seville, Italians' 
Frenchmen, Flemings, trying to get hold of some of the 
wealth and thus console themselves for not having been 
the discoverers of the New World. 

The city was governed by a Cahildo (Chapter) consisting 
of the Asistente or king's officer, and twenty-four regidores 
(counsellors). Both the Civil and the Ecclesiastical 
Chapters were famed for their munificence. " They had 
their hands open to spend the treasure upon rich and 
poor, arts and letters ; so that wealth flowed everywhere 
like the waves of a river." 

The rich citizens, however, including the religious 
houses, were accused of oppressing the poor ; and the 
evils inevitable in a time of rapidly made wealth, were 
rife. The judges were open to bribes, and the lesser 
functionaries followed suit. Teresa in one of her 
letters complains bitterly of the sharp practice she 
met with in the business relating to the purchase of a 

At the close of the sixteenth century most of the great 
buildings were much as we see them now. Many of the 
streets bore their present names and had their present 
aspect. Where is now the Triana bridge was a bridge 
of boats, and the larger vessels did not ascend beyond 
it. Crowds of little boats gay with the splash of oars 
and the thrumming of guitars under coloured awnings, 
contrasted with the ponderous galleons which brought 
the treasure to the bustle of the Arenal. 


When Philip visited the city in 1570, he passed — 
following the steps of San Fernando — along the Calle de 
las Armas, the street in which Teresa spent nearly the 
whole of her year in Seville ; the Sierpes, the Plaza San 
Francisco with its palm trees, the Calle Genova to 
the grados of the Cathedral — all familiar to us still, though 
Las Armas has changed its name. 

Most of the churches were as they are, many of the 
monasteries and convents. All the early writers mention 
the Cartuja (now a pottery factory) founded in 1400 and 
dedicated to Nuestra SQilora de las Cuevas. Here in 
Teresa's time was an excellent prior, from Avila like her- 
self, for long her only friend in Seville. The monastery 
was so delightfully situated and so pleasant in every way 
that the religious lived "in an anteroom of Paradise." 
In this retreat was a monk who for trying to run away 
was confined in the monastery prison. While there an 
express from the king made him a Bishop. He left the 
prison for his see, enjoyed his honours and his wealth 
for a short time, then returned to Las Cuevas, and died 
a humble monk. In Andalucia in the sixteenth century 
there was romance even in the monasteries. Jeronimo 
Gracian de la Madre de Dios had abundant experience of it. 

Arrived at Seville after that wonderful journey, Teresa 
and her nuns descended at the little house in Las Armas 
which Mariano had rented for them. He had provided no 
furniture beyond beds and plates, which articles being only 
lent were on the morrow carried off by their owner. Mariano 
also supplied them with bread, and there were a few herbs 
in their garden ; luckily, as no one came to visit them, and 
the only lady who thought of sending alms dispatched 
them by a beata who left them at the wrong house. The 
nuns were near starving, till Padre Pantoja, the prior of 


Las Cuevas, found them out, and took them under his 

Teresa had come to Seville expecting welcome from 
the Archbishop, who had shown himself a warm friend of 
the Discalced friars. But she learned on arriving that 
there had been no clear understanding with His Grace 
about the convent, and now he declared himself absolutely 
opposed to the Foundation unless with the guarantee 
of a fixed and substantial income. Teresa was thunder- 
struck. She had never imagined need for an income in a 
rich place like Seville ; at the present moment she had 
no money nor prospect of any. However, with her usual 
gaiety she declared it was a mercy the Archbishop had 
not heard of their poverty till they had come, or he would 
certainly have forbidden their coming at all. Now he 
would have to put up with them ! 

After a week or two he did allow them to have their 
first Mass, so that they considered their convent founded. 
They called it San Jose del Carmen, and began to say 
their Offices. But the permission had been extremely 
grudging. The Blessed Sacrament was not to be reserved, 
and the convent must on no account ring a bell. 

Presently the Padres del Pano (the Observants) de- 
manded to know by whose authority this busybody, 
Teresa de Jesus, had come to Seville, and obtruded another 
convent on the unwilling city. With some trepidation, 
Teresa showed her patents from Rubeo, the General. The 
Padres went away apparently satisfied ; but probably 
they were only disguising their enmity, for they knew of 
the Archbishop's displeasure and must have observed that 
the patents referred only to Castille. 

Fortunately after awhile Don Cristobal, the Arch- 
bishop, an excellent prelate, efficient and beloved both 
in his present diocese and in his former one of Cordova, 


took into his head to go and see the new convent. The 
result was a foregone conclusion. Teresa was used to 
managing Bishops, and from what she had heard of Don 
Crist6bal, knew that at bottom he and she must be in 
sympathy. She was right. The Archbishop was struck 
at once by her simple goodness and her splendid ability. 
He left the house her protector and devoted friend. He 
told her to do whatever she liked. And she was to look 
for a permanent house ; as soon as she had one with 
a proper church, the convent should have the Blessed 
Sacrament. Now all seemed plain sailing and the 
Padres del Paiio were powerless. The only trouble was 
penury. But at last some novices — long conspicuous by 
their absence — did present themselves, amongst others a 
widow who brought 2700 ducats in money and jewels, so 
there was no longer fear of starvation. 

The house, however, was hard to find. As a matter 
of fact, the nuns did not get into it for a year, when they 
were inducted by the Archbishop himself with all the 
pomp and publicity of a great procession. The streets 
were decorated, there was a great crowd of spectators ; 
the Cathedral Chapter all marched in their robes, attended 
by the little seises,^ the acolytes, and servers, the con- 
fraternities and penitents carrying candles and banners, 
as may be seen in any great procession at this day. And 
when Teresa, the foundress, the great woman whom some 
people were already considering a saint, knelt to the Arch- 
bishop and asked his blessing, lo ! he who had frowned 
now fell on his knees before her and bade her on the 
contrary to bless him ! 

But of course the devil was indignant and made a great 
attempt to upset the grandeur and the solemnity. He caused 
some gunpowder to explode and nearly set the new house 
^ The six (now ten) youngest choir-boys. 


on fire, for great flames were rushing up the wall and terri- 
fying the crowd. No one was hurt ; and oh, wonderful ! 
the damasks of the decorations were not even scorched ! 

" For which," says Teresa, " the nuns praised the Lord, 
having no money wherewithal to buy new ones." 

" And so," exclaims the old chronicler, " the city at 
last recognized its felicity in having this treasure within 
its walls ! " 

" And," adds Teresa, " here were the poor Descalzas 
honoured by all, even in Seville ! " 

In the course of this year, Teresa had experienced a 
great personal pleasure. It tested her shrewdly in the 
counsel of perfection, which says, " Give up your family 
and your kin." 

Seville was the port in which arrived all those who 
had made their fortunes in the New World, and now wished 
to die at home. Among these came Lorenzo and Pedro de 
Cepeda, Teresa's brothers, who thirty years before had 
wandered off to the El Dorado of dreams come true. 

Lorenzo had prospered ; he had been a great man in 
South America, treasurer of the province of Quito in 
Peru. His wife had died, but he had children to educate, 
and he was rich. Six years ago he had written to say he 
was coming, and Teresa had answered him that Toledo 
had a pleasant climate, but at dear Avila there was more 
Christianity, and the Jesuit College would be a good school 
for his boys. 

Evidently a journey from Peru took a long while to 
arrange. It was not till 1576 that the travellers arrived, 
Lorenzo and his four children, — the youngest a girl of eight, 
named after her aunt, — and Pedro the brother ; but not 
Jeronimo who died at Panama on the journey, nor two 
others, Augustin and Fernando who had stayed on in Peru. 


These men must liave seemed almost strangers to 
Teresa after the long years and the life so unlike her own ; 
still making no attempt to disguise her joy, she took up 
the old sisterly affection without embarrassment. Pedro 
proved rather a tiresome person ; but Lorenzo — oh ! 
Lorenzo was everything one could wish ! Lorenzo, who 
in the world had played his part well and upheld the honour 
of Spain, and who now had come home intent on serving 
God and saving the souls of his children. Probably he 
was surprised to find what a great and important woman 
his sister had become. Very soon he put himself under 
her spiritual direction, and we have many letters she wrote 
him of advice and criticism. 

The letters were later of course ; for the present Lorenzo 
showed his confidence in his sister by at once placing his 
little girl, Teresita, in her care. 

" She seems the very elf of the house ! " writes the 
delighted aunt to one of her distant prioresses ; " the 
sisters are all enchanted by her. She is the sweetest 
little angel ; and at recreation time she tells us stories of 
the Indians and the sea." 

A pretty picture ; the careworn hungry nuns who 
lived more in heaven than on earth, clustered round the 
little travelled child, — bright and gay, and a little self-con- 
fident, like all Spanish children, — listening to tales of a world 
that to them must have seemed verily a city of mirage. 

It was suggested that Teresita should be made a nun 
at once. But no, the Council of Trent had forbidden such 
precocity. She must wait till she was twelve. Teresita 
did wait ; but she never went out into the world again ; 
and at San Josef of Avila was a professed nun before her 
aunt's death. One wonders how much she remembered 
of Peru. She grew up a gentle quiet creature, sweet and 
gracious, not so clever as some of her cousins. Perhaps 


when she was attaining womanhood in that silent, strenuous, 
often painful life of the cloister, where she never achieved 
ecstasies and the wild joys of touching things mysterious, 
awe-inspiring, supernatural, perhaps she sometimes looked 
back to a dim past — to a ship — a broad, rolling sea — a 
strange sunlit land, with birds, trees, flowers, all so unlike 
grey Avila — where gold was a common thing, and there 
were strange men with dark skins and plaintive eyes ; — 
where her father was a kind of king and she a baby princess 
in a fairy palace. And perhaps she sighed ; and wondered 
why she had been shut up at eight years old ; and never 
allowed to step out into the sunshine and carve her own 

I fear I am reading myself into Teresita ! But truly 
there is one disadvantage in great people like her aunt. 
Without meaning it, without knowing it, acting with the 
best intentions and indeed doing well, they crush the 
weaker ones ! They take away their wills, and press them 
into lives which to them cannot be joy, because they lack 
the inspiration, the genius, the courage, which made the 
same lives unfaltering happiness to the greater souled 
ones, their predecessors and superiors. 

Lorenzo at once identified his interests with Teresa's. 
She was house-hunting ; he threw himself enthusiastically 
into the business. Helped by Garci Alvarez, a priest who 
had" befriended the nuns since their arrival, he found an 
admirable house in the street called Pajeria, and lent 
the money for its purchase. There were many difficulties 
with inmates, owners, and neighbours ; and there was a 
long price to pay. But Lorenzo was rich and was used to 
overcoming obstacles. True, in the course of the negotia- 
tion he had to flee into Sanctuary, having been threatened 
with imprisonment ; for there was a blunder in the deed 
of sale, and though it was to the advantage of the vendor. 


Iho purchaser was answerable to the law. However, by 
handing out more money he escaped punishment ; then him- 
self engaged workmen for the repairs, paid them out of his 
capacious purse, and supported the nuns for a whole month 
between the time of their taking possession and the day 
of the Archbishop's procession and formal opening. This 
was in June 1576. Two days later, having made Maria 
de San Jos6 prioress, Teresa left Seville for her return to 
Castille, travelling for once in some comfort with her 
brother and his family. 

The year had not passed without worse troubles than 
scarcity of food and delay in finding a house. 

The dispute in the Carmelite Order was still going on, 
bitterness on each side daily increasing. The Observant 
party were the richer and the more powerful. They were 
able to send envoys to Rome ; to state, it would seem to 
overstate, their case. Gregory xiii and Rossi, the Carmelite 
general, were drawn to their side. The General Chapter 
held at Piacenza, in May 1575 before Teresa had arrived 
in Seville, passed decrees openly aimed at the reformers. 
The latter were described as refractory persons, who had 
founded or accepted monasteries against the will of their 
superiors, and had stepped out of Castille into Andalucia. 
Censures and punishments were commanded ; immediate 
return of the refractory to their proper houses ; most 
alarming of all, Fray Jeronimo Tostado, a Portuguese 
well known as implacable, was appointed Vicar-General 
with plenary powers over the whole Order in Spain, and 
directions to crush the Reform by guile if possible, by force 
if necessary. The expedient suggested was the scattering 
of Discalced friars in Observant houses, and the appoint- 
ment of Observant priors in all monasteries of the reform. 
Teresa was made the object of a special decree. She 
was to found no more convents anywhere, to leave Veas 


at once ; to select some one convent in Castille, go to it, 
and stay there. 

Angel de Salazar, worthy man, when he received this 
Order could not bring himself to inform Teresa of it at 
once. He knew it would pain her ; as it did, though she 
writes of it with studied moderation. 

" Perhaps," she says, " the Lord wished me to have 
some rest. I long to end my life in quiet, and once I 
prayed the General to relieve me of this work of founding 
convents. But I am distressed that our Father General 
should be displeased with me, truly, I think without 
cause, unless upon false report by impassioned persons. 
And this order that I must remain in one house, which 
they mean to be a sort of prison, has been framed, as Fray 
Angel very well knows, entirely to give me grief." 

Teresa wrote to Rossi explaining how it was she had 
gone to Andalucia, but he had now committed himself to 
the party of her enemies and her letter had little effect. 

In Spain, however, the King's favour and that of 
Hormaneto the Nuncio were giving the reformers tem- 
porary success. Gracian, head of the Discalced in Castille 
and of the whole Order in Andalucia, had begun his visita- 
tions. He was conciliatory by nature ; and Teresa his 
monitress strongly advised moderation. Had the more 
vehement friars had the authority they would probably 
have brought catastrophe in a week. As it was, Mariano 
and old Antonio de Jesus declared the time for open war 
had arrived, and pushed their young superior into more 
violent action than his own judgment approved. 

The day came for Gracian's first visit to the Observants 
of the large monastery at Seville. Supported by Antonio 
and Baltazar de Jesus, he read his patents to the assembled 
friars. They demanded copies of the patents in case they 
wished to appeal against them. The copies were refused. 

L ^ 


Only one friar acknowledged Gracian's authority, Fray 
Juan Evangelista, who was at once made prior of the 
monastery, the rebellious prior being deposed. A great 
storm burst forth, and report reached Teresa that Gracian 
was murdered. Mariano, however, appealed to the 
Asistente and to the Archbishop, who arrived in person to 
quell the tumult. The Observants saw that resistance 
was for the moment hopeless ; all through Andalucia 
they submitted at least ostensibly ; and reforms, not 
entirely unsuccessful, were introduced. But ambassadors 
were sent to Rome to appeal against the Nuncio and this 
upstart Vicar Apostolic. 

It was all very distressing to Teresa, who wrote again 
to Rossi, stating her views and defending Gracian. 

" He did not wish for this post, nor did his brother, 
the King's secretary, approve it for him. I am not sur- 
prised that the Order is weary of so many visits and changes. 
I should have liked all done with less rancour. But I do 
pray your lordship to let bygones be bygones ; and 
write favourably to Gracian, your son, even if in some 
points he has been misguided. There is no one else with 
the ability for this task ; and your lordship is happy in 
having such a son ; and should be glad also to acknow- 
ledge the reform as your work also. I think perhaps 
that you, being so far away, do not see how things stand 
so clearly as I ; and though women be poor counsellors 
yet there are times when they hit the truth." 

And she adds that in obedience to the Decree of Reclu- 
sion, she is leaving Seville the moment the weather will per- 
mit ; nor is she sorry, for " she does not get on at all well 
with the people of Andalucia." Wily Teresa ! Gracian, 
her immediate superior (whom she had vowed to obey), had 
refused to let her go north till the winter was over, saying 
it could not be the General's intention to give her cold. 


And everybody knows that at Avila the winter is not 
over till after St. John's Day, which in other places is 
Midsummer ! 

Before St. John's Day, another trouble befell Teresa 
and her nuns, which was even more distressing than the 
warfare in the Order, 

Among the novices received at the new convent (not 
yet moved from the street called Las Armas) was a heata 
who had come with such glowing testimonials from ex- 
cellent and important people, that Teresa said smilingly, 
she quite expected the new sister to be a worker of miracles. 
She turned out a flighty and melancholy creature, alto- 
gether unsuited to convent life. She rebelled against the 
customary discipline, and made complaints to her con- 
fessor who was a stranger to the house ; (Teresa, we re- 
member, allowed her nuns complete freedom in the choice 
of their confessors). After a few months she left the 
convent or was sent away ; then she and the confessor 
allowed her complaints to become public property. Maria 
de San Jose, in her statement, says the accusations were 
puerile ; the nuns received the Communion unveiled ; they 
confessed to each other ; they were flogged and so forth. 

" Would to God," says Teresa, writing to Maria Bautista, 
" would to God she had accused us of nothing worse than 
flogging ! " 

For it got about that there was heresy in the convent, 
the heresy of the Alumbrados who claimed sinlessness, and 
allowed themselves much moral laxity. The virtue not only 
of the younger nuns but of Teresa herself was impugned. 
Teresa was now sixty-one and of known sanctity ; 
scandals about her cannot have obtained much credit. 
But she was cut to the heart that her daughters should be 
accused of flagrant sins, when her whole aim had been 
the purifying and ennobling not only of convent life, but 


of convent souls. Slic thought Httlc3 sins great in those 
aspiring to perfection ; great sins she knew nothing about, 
Ihey were not even to be named among saints. And 
now, here were her enemies, and the people she had come 
to save, accusing her and her daughters of sins against 
common chastity ! 

One day Gracian — wc have the account in the vivid 
words of the old chronicler — coming to visit the convent, 
found the whole street full of horses and mules and serving- 
men, belonging as he recognized at once to the officers of 
the Inquisition. And among them stood that clerigo who 
with the hcata, his penitent, had spread the false reports, 
and now had laid them before the Holy Office. The 
clerigo was pale, partly with joy, partly with fear ; and 
a great multitude had assembled expecting every moment 
to see the Mother and all the nuns carried off to prison. 
Gracian, much agitated, forced an entrance and got 
speech with Teresa. 

Alas ! the Inquisition, approved by all, was yet dreaded 
by all ; and this was the second time Teresa had been 
attacked ; for had not the Book of her Life been sent up 
for narrowly avoided condemnation ? Gracian was greatly 
alarmed. Not so Teresa, the gran mujer, the woman of 
courage and of faith. She was cheerful ; she was even 
merry. She know her innocence and the innocence of her 
children. She positively liked persecutions and troubles ! 

" The Lord," she said, "would justify His servants." 

However the officers searched and examined, and 
questioned and cross-questioned. They found nothing 
even suspicious. They left the house, loud in its praise. 
The nuns ? Why, they were angels ! Teresa ? Never 
was woman like her ! They were shocked at their own 
intrusion. And the3/ caught the pale priest who had 
sent for them, and scolded and rated him, till he expected 


to be sent to the stake himself as a liar, a blasphemer, 
and a heretic. 

After this the slanders ceased, at least for the present, 
and the virtue and the holiness of the Mother and her 
spiritual daughters became by this very trial better 
known and esteemed. 

But Teresa had to confess that since the foundation 
of San Jose in Avila she never had suffered as she suffered 
in Seville ; and that not only by the mischiefs of men, 
but because the Lord Himself seemed to be hidden. She 
was passing through a time of spiritual depression. Her 
mind was distracted by anxieties, perhaps also by the 
irrelevance of outside interests. She prayed, she used the 
means of grace, but she walked in darkness, and there 
was no " open vision." She was discouraged ; she feared 
her work was done and she was growing old. 

No doubt this despondency was partly physical ; she 
recovered her buoyancy when she was back in the sharp 
breezes of Castille. But Yepes gives another explanation — 

" She was to learn that power is of the Lord ; and that 
her usual fortitude was not her own, but was the inspiration 
of God." 

Gracian, intimately acquainted with Mariano, could 
not escape knowing also Juan de la Miseria. And Juan, 
though a simple person, had his one talent. He was 
fond of painting, and — for an amateur — he painted well. 
In Seville, Gracian ordered him to paint a portrait of the 
great Mother Teresa de Jesus. Juan was flattered and 
delighted. Teresa with difficulty was persuaded to sit. 
The portrait was painted. 

And at this day three portraits exist, all remarkably like 
each other, each of which professes to be the original portrait 
of Teresa, painted for Gracian by Juan de la Miseria. 




One — the best of them — is in the convent of San 
Jos6 at Seville. We know the portrait was painted at 
Seville and there is no record of its ever having been taken 
away. But the question is, could Juan de la Miseria have 
painted so well ? Not indeed that it can be called a very 
good portrait in any respect ; but it has a certain pro- 
fessional air that does not somehow suggest simple, self- 
taught Brother John, who I feel sure made a horrible daub. 

The second portrait is at Avila, now in the Ayuntamiento. 
but before the sequestration in the possession of the friars. 
No one knows how the friars got hold of it, and I strongly 
suspect that some one has touched up the background 
of the picture and added the Dove and the legend. But 
Monsieur Hye-Hoys, the Belgian artist whose opinion 
carries weight and who pubhshed in 1884 his interesting 
book called " L'Espagne Theresienne," believes this Avila 
picture to be the original ; and I confess its very badness, 
its square stolidity, and total lack of expression, are very 
much what one would look for in the work of Brother 
John of Misery. 

The third portrait is at Valladolid in the convent, and 
is neither so good nor so bad as its rivals at Seville and 
Avila. Moreover it is said to have on the canvas a second 
and scarce visible signature of the name Juan de la Miseria, 
less suspicious in appearance than the obvious signature, 
which appears also (I believe) on the other pictures. But 
this time the objection comes from Teresa herself. At 
the time she was painted she was sixty-one ; in the 
Valladolid picture she looks forty-five. Ribera says she 
did not look her age, and perhaps she did not, in reality. 
But in her portrait she did look her age or rather more 
(a falsification very apt to occur when amateurs paint 
portraits) ; for the remark she made upon it herself was 


" Dios se lo pague, Fray Juan, que despues de lo mucho 
que me has hecho sufrir, me ha sacado muy fea y vieja." 

" God forgive you, Brother John, that after all you haye_ 
made me go through" (presumably in sitting) " J^om 
have after all brought me out very old and ugl^i^ 




TERESA left Seville 4th June 1576, a good long time 
after she had received the order to return to Castille. 
First the weather detained her, then her health ; 
we may be allowed to think her sufficiently rebellious not 
to leave Seville till her work there was done. At last, 
however, she reached Malagon ; then paid a short visit to 
Avila ; finally settled down obediently at Toledo. From 
this out she had Ana de San Bartolome, at this time a lay- 
sister, as her constant companion and secretary, to 
qualify herself for which latter post the dauntless Ana 
learned to write, as well as to read. 

The history of the next four years is chiefly the history 
of the continued struggle of the reform ; its best com- 
mentary is in Teresa's letters to the friars who were in the 
thick of the fight, or to certain of the nuns anxious to learn 
what was going on. It is all old history now, and we may 
be excused from going into it too minutely. To Teresa 
and her followers and friends, it was a time of heart-eating 
anxiety and apprehension. When the end came and the 
Discalced were given their independence, and their pro- 
vince separate from the Observants, Teresa was able to 
cry, " Now,Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace" ; 
a prayer answered for her two years later at Alba de 


Let us take a brief survey of the war. 

In May 1576 Angel de Salazar, the Spanish Provincial 
of the not yet divided Order, convened a Chapter at San 
Pablo de la Moraleja. The majority of those summoned 
were Observants, but some of the more prominent of the 
Discalced were invited also. Two of these on their way 
visited Hormaneto, the Nuncio ; he advised them to con- 
sent to no changes, certainly to none which would impair 
the authority of Gracian. The reformers arrived at the 
scene of the Conference to find business already in progress, 
and certain resolutions much to their detriment already 
passed. The Calced and the Discalced were to be mixed 
together in the monasteries ; the reformers were to put 
on shoes and generally to give up their distinctive garb, 
etc. etc. In the name of the reformers the Prior of 
Mancera declared they would obey the commands of no one 
but Gracian the Apostolical Commissioner, of Hormaneto 
the Nuncio, and of Philip the King. This caused a tumult 
in the assembly, and the reformers came away, shaking 
the dust from their feet, and sent a report of the proceed- 
ings to the Nuncio. 

In August an Opposition Chapter was convened by 
Gracian at Almodovar. Amongst those present were 
Antonio de Jesus, Juan de la Cruz, and Nicolas Doria de 
Jesus Maria ; the latter conspicuous though not yet pro- 
fessed, and later Gracian's rival and enemy. Gracian 
made a speech to the assembled friars, speaking of the 
contradictions they suffered, not from foes but from 
friends and fathers, not from sinners but from righteous and 
well-intentioned men ; he alluded to the mission of Tostado 
as a measure of scarce disguised hostility, in opposition to 
which the reformers had the right to organize themselves. 

This pronouncement was approved, Juan de la Cruz 
being the only dissentient ; and the Fathers proceeded 



to elect officers call Definitors, and to rule that in the 
event of any mischance happening to Gracian, Antonio 
de Jesus should succeed to his office. 

Meantime the decrees of the Observant Chapter at San 
Pablo had been quashed by the king, and Gracian was 
ordered in future to address himself to Covarrubias, the 
President of the Royal Council, and to Quiroga the 
Inquisitor General. Tostado had arrived, and at once 
began war on Gracian. The king intervened in his favour, 
Tostado was defeated and took himself off to Portugal, his 
native country, in disgust. 

Elated by this unlooked-for triumph, the reformers 
appointed envoys to go to Rome and plead their cause 
with the Pope, Gregory xiii. Teresa thought this an 
excellent move, and constantly urged dispatch. Alas ! 
dispatch is not congenial to Spaniards ; the envoys loitered 
till too late to effect anything, and one of them was en- 
snared by the enemy, abandoned the cause he represented, 
and came home to join the Mitigation. 

June 1577 saw the death of Hormaneto. This was a 
great blow for the reformers ; his successor Sega, an 
Italian bishop, related to the Pope, learned and influential, 
arrived in August, strongly prejudiced in favour of the 
Observants. Gracian now tried to resign his office ; but 
Covarrubias and Quiroga objected, telling him he had no 
more spirit than a fly, and the king refused to accept his 

Gracian's friends were the more vehement in his 
support that his enemies had again been spreading infamous 
scandals about the young superior and the nuns of San 
Jose in Seville. Indeed the acting Provincial went so far 
as to depose Maria de San Jose from her office as prioress. 
Teresa herself wrote to Philip as to this matter ; the 
charges were gone into publicly, and in less than a month 



were completely disproved, the principal witnesses against 
Gracian solemnly retracting their statements before the 
Civil Magistrates and in presence of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment. Maria de San Jose was presently reinstated. 

Now died Diego de Covarrubias, Bishop of Segovia 
and President of the Royal Council. He admired Teresa 
immenseljT^ and had always been friendly to the reform, 
so his death was another blow. Tostado took heart, 
returned to Madrid, and began a lawsuit against Gracian. 
In December, the Courts gave judgment against the 
Portuguese ; he was again huffed and despairing, and again 
retired to his native country. Of all the captains in this 
religious war, the terrible Tostado seems from first to last 
to have been the least efficient. 

Sega, the new Nuncio, now began to move. He sent 
for Gracian, and required him to show his faculties given 
him by Hormaneto, and to publish a report of his visita- 
tions. Quiroga, Inquisitor General, and now Archbishop 
of Toledo and Primate of all Spain, supported Gracian in 
his refusal to comply. In July 1578 Sega sent out a brief 
formally deposing him. Gracian's supporters now declared 
that as Sega had not shown his faculties from the Pope, 
he had no authority to send out the brief. 

Sega thought Teresa was at the bottom of Gracian's 
rebellion, and pronounced her a restless and troublesome 
woman {femina inquieta y andariega), contumacious, un- 
willing to be taught, and disobedient to the apostolic in- 
junction that women were not to usurp authority over the 
men. The Book of her Life was again denounced to the 
Inquisition, calumnies were revived about her and her 
daughters at Seville ; finally it was proposed that she 
should be deported to the West Indies as there was no 
escaping her in vSpain. 

But it is always darkest just before dawn, and in 




1579 the first streaks of light were appearing in the 

Sega received a visit from the Prior of Mancera, Fray 
Juan de Jesus Roca ; and after some discussion had to 
admit that his horror of the reform was founded on pre- 
judice and ignorance. But before he could make his 
change of view public two very irritating events postponed 
his complete conversion. 

First, the Royal Council proclaimed all his edicts null 
and void, and reinstated Gracian in his office. Secondly, 
the reformers (in spite of strong remonstrance from Teresa) 
assembled themselves a second time at Almodovar, an- 
nounced their secession from the province, elected Antonio 
de Jesus as their own Provincial, and imprisoned Juan de 
Jesus Roca, one of themselves who ventured to remon- 

Sega's response to this presumption was to imprison 
the leaders of the revolution. Gracian he put in the 
Observant monastery at Madrid, Antonio with the Fran- 
ciscans, Mariano with the Dominicans. In October, a 
brief was issued subjecting the Discalced everywhere to 
the Calced. 

It was on hearing of this — the misfortune which of all 
others she had dreaded — that Teresa's courage for once 
gave way and she burst into tears. That was terrible ! 
To see Teresa weep, Teresa whose buoyancy, whose hope- 
fulness, whose unfailing sense of humour, had been the 
life of her party ! She was frightened herself, for it was 
not like her to break down. But Ana de San Bartolome, 
good simple soul, said it was clear the Mother wanted some- 
thing to eat, and dragged her off to the refectory. And 
there they both, Teresa and her loving disciple, saw the 
Lord Jesus standing at the board, and breaking the bread 
for His servants. 


Teresa's courage returned. She received despairing 
letters from Mariano and from Gracian who had sub- 
mitted himself, resigned his office, and delivered up his 
patents ; but she was as " one who sees land from the 
masthead." She commanded prayers and fasts ; letters 
also to be written to persons of importance. She herself 
sat down and wrote again to the king. Perhaps she 
guessed that the worst was over ; that though the enemy 
had apparently triumphed, it was not for long. The 
public, that sixteenth-century Spanish public so keenly 
interested in religious disputes, was on the side of the 
reformers. Friends were starting up everywhere, many of 
them influential ; such as the Conde de Tendilla, a Mendoza, 
and Captain of the City of Granada, who came forward 
openly and with insistence. And Monsignor Sega, for all 
his apparent hostility, was now secretly making inter- 
cession for his rebels with the Pope. 

Early in 1579 Sega agreed to the appointment of a 
Commission to confer with him for the settlement of the 
whole question. " Men of weight and learning" were ap- 
pointed to sit on this Commission. They included Luis 
de Manrique, the king's chaplain, and two Dominicans, 
one of them that Pedro Fernandez who had been Apostolical 
Visitor in Castille. And till they should have concluded 
their sittings and arrived at some decision, a Vicar-General 
was appointed with plenary powers to rule over the Dis- 
calced. This office was given to our old friend Angel de 
Salazar, who though puzzle-headed, and hesitating in 
action, had never at heart wavered in his friendliness tc 
Teresa and to the reform. 

He began at once visiting the reformed houses in 
Castille, and pouring oil into the wounds. His acts and 
his words were all conciliatory ; and he allowed Teresa tc 
emerge from her retreat at Toledo and continue her work. 


In July 1579 Sega laid a paper before the king con- 
taining the recommendations of the Commission : 

First, that the reform should be maintained. 

Secondly, that the Caked and the Discalced should not 
be required to live in the same houses. 

Thirdly, that the Discalced should choose their own 

Lastly, Philip was asked to request that the Discalced 
should be made into a distinct province. 

A few months more, and all these recommendations 
were given effect. The long weary war was ended ; the 
settlement was made which had long seemed to Teresa to 
contain the only possibility for peace. Letters from the 
Pope, dated 22nd June 1580, were dispatched to the 
Nuncio bidding the division of the Carmelites. Those 
who observed the Primitive Rule were entirely and for 
ever separated from those who observed the Mitigated 
Rule of Eugenius iv. Both sections were to be under the 
direct government of the General of the whole Order. 
The Discalced were to enjoy all the same privileges as 
the Calced. And the rehgious were not to pass from one 
province to the other except by leave of the Holy See. 

The Pope's decision was made public in Spain in 
March 1581 at a Chapter of the whole Order held at Alcala 
under the presidency of the King's Commissioner, Fray 
Juan de la Cueva, prior of the monastery of San Genesio 
at Talavera. Angel de Salazar was informed that his 
duties as Vicar over the Discalced had terminated. 

Teresa wrote voluminously to Gracian, to Doria, to 
Mariano, giving her advice as to the Rules and Constitution 
of the new Province ; but neither she nor any of the nuns 
accepted the invitation they received to the Chapter. 

The Commissioner addressed the Assembly in an 
harangue 7nuy docta y grave (very learned and weighty) 


proving by the authority of Holy Scripture and many 
philosophers, that division between brethren for the sake 
of peace, was order, not strife ; and the accomplished 
Mariano made an answering harangue in Latin. Four 
Definitors (consultants, assistants to the Provincial) were 
chosen, Antonio de Jesus, Nicolas Doria, Juan de la Cruz, 
and Gabriel de la Asuncion. Mariano was appointed 
Secretary. Then came the election of the Provincial. 

The Commissioner made a curious ironical speech, 
proposing Gracian for this office. Gracian was patronized 
by the king and by the Mother Teresa de Jesus. He was 
influential in high places, of great learning, of unquestioned 
ability. He had experience of government, and had shown 
gentleness and consummate tact. And again, he was 
the favourite of the king. True he was young, and from 
his noviciate had ruled, not obeyed. He had never had 
time to be grounded in mortification, and submission, 
and retirement. He was more inclined to showy action 
than to silence and praj^er. He loved applause, and had 
been known to slight both Rule and Constitution to gain it. 
He had taken thought rather for other men's souls than 
for his own. Still — he stood in favour with the king and 
with the great Mother Teresa de Jesus. 

Perhaps the Assembly resented the tone of this address. 
At any rate, they elected Gracian as their Provincial ; — not, 
however, by an overwhelming majority and with great 
secret annoyance on the part of the supporters of Doria, 
who was Gracian's only serious rival. 

Teresa, when she heard the decision, was overjoyed. 
She never wavered in the opinion that Gracian was by far 
the best man for the onerous post. She was not, however, 
blind to the young director's faults, the most prominent 
of which, as time afterwards proved, was a certain moral 
laziness. More than once Teresa expressed the wish that 


Gracian and Doria could be rolled into one, and she ad- 
vised Gracian to make use of liim as an adviser and a 
lieutenant. When the Definitors and the Provincial 
had been chosen, the Alcala Chapter proceeded to draw 
up the Constitution, as it was to be enforced and stereo- 
typed both for men and women. The model was Teresa's 
Constitution as she had arranged it for her nuns. Gracian 
consulted her about every change ; and she suggested 
several modifications, almost all in the direction of gentle- 
ness and freedom. Years which bring the philosophic 
mind had taught her that excessive severity often defeats 
itself, and easily degenerates into tyranny, which is good 
neither for the victim nor for the tyrant. 

Teresa's recommendations referred chiefly to her 
daughters ; she was too modest to wish to legislate for men. 
One practical exhortation, however, which she did address 
to her sons will claim the undivided sympathy of a later 

" Let the priors," she wrote, " give the brothers a 
sufficiency of food ; and let it be specially mentioned, and 
most strictly observed, that cleanliness is among the first 
of our duties." 

Teresa's last year in this world — she died in 1582 — was 
happy in the honour paid to Gracian and in the evidence of 
what in her opinion was his good government. How much 
she foresaw of the troubles coming upon her children it is 
impossible to say. Probably little. Hers was a hopeful 
disposition ; her solution of the difficulties had been 
accepted. While she lived all went well — outwardly, at 
any rate. She must have thought that her sons and 
daughters had a pleasant path before them, sunlit and 
fresh with the dews of heaven. It was her happy fate 
to die before active jealousies, loud-voiced contentions, 
had made many persons doubtful whether after all the 


Descalzos had the abihty for self-government. Open war 
broke out between Gracian and that stern, tyrannical, 
ambitious Nicolas Doria, and in that war Gracian was 
beaten. Doria replaced him as Provincial and pursued 
him with relentless persistence. Gracian was turned out 
of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, and after some years 
of strange adventures and distressful wanderings — for 
no Order was willing to receive a dismissed friar — he 
ended his days as a much esteemed, trusted, and beloved 
Observant Carmelite, though his private life and his 
heart were ever after the manner of Teresa's reform as 
he had learned it from herself. 

It is often said that disputes and divisions, however 
deplorable, are at any rate a sign of life. The Discalced 
Carmelites were certainly a more vigorous body than their 
brethren of the Mitigation. At the present time the 
Discalced are much the more numerous and influential. ^ 
But the tendency of both parties has been to prune off 
their excesses, and probably the difference between them 
now is chiefly formal. 

Teresa's life during the four years after her leaving 
Seville till the time of the division of the Order, is best 
reconstructed from her letters. She was an indefatigable 
correspondent ; fifty-five letters have survived dated 
1576, forty-three of the year 1578. The Book of the 
Foundations was concluded in 1576, bringing its history of 
events down to the foundations at Seville and Caravaca. 
It is the most popular of Teresa's writings, and is very 
entertaining to read, with its tales of amusing adventures, 
its graphic descriptions of the life of the day. Pleasant too 

^ At the present moment there are of the Discalced Carmelite Order, 
one Cardinal, three Archbishops, and five or six Bishops. The nuns are 
more numerous than the fathers ; both have houses in all parts of the 
world, beginning with Mount Carmel. The Carmelites were formerly known 
in England as the White Friars. 


is the writer's unfeigned love of nature ; lier delight in 
flowers and liills and running water, in sunshine and 
pleasant shade, in soft breezes and gentle rain. She does 
not write for effect ; word-painting was not her study. 
She speaks of nature quite incidentally, because almost 
unconsciously she loved it, and it had become part and 
parcel of the contents of her mind. Another characteristic 
is her love for her fellowmen. She has a good word for 
every one, finds excuses for sinners, and does her best to see 
the point of view even of her enemies. " To understand 
is to forgive " ; and there is scarce higher exercise for a 
gifted imagination than to see and point out the soul of 
goodness even in things evil. 

Of course Teresa interrupts her narrative with many 
digressions ; from these we learn not only what she was 
doing but what she was thinking, what were the main- 
springs of her action during her most energetic period. 
If any one is tempted to think that these years of storm 
and stress had a little dulled the fire in Teresa's soul, a little 
shaken her interest in the mystic communion with God 
which was her aim and her joy, let him note the digressions 
in the Book of the Foundations, and remember also that it 
was in her old age she wrote Las Moradas — her vision of 
the kingdom of heaven which is not in space, which is hardly 
in time, but which means the seat of the presence of God. 

A literary labour of a totally different kind, perhaps 
I should say a literary pastime, was her criticism of the 
Vejamen. This was a doctrinal competition suggested by 
Don Alvaro de Mendoza, the Bishop of Avila, the com- 
petitors being Teresa's brother, Lorenzo deCepeda, Francisco 
Salcedo the caballero santo, Julian de Avila the chaplain, 
and Juan de la Cruz, Teresa herself being appointed 
the judge. Each competitor was to write an essay on the 
words she had heard from the Lord — 


" Buscate en mi " (Seek thyself in Me). 

Literary contests were the fashion. Something of the 
sort was included in the examination for the degree of 
Doctor of Theology at the University of Alcala ; and a 
century later in Lope's time, poetical jousts were important 
events. It was apparently a rule of the game that the 
judgment should be witty, and Teresa's sarcasms are merry 
enough. She finds fault with all the essays. Salcedo's 
is truism ; Juan de la Cruz is long-winded ; Lorenzo, 
presumptuous. In fact they are all up in the clouds, 
and for the most part prove too much. With these hght 
censures, however, she mingles profound remarks. 

" It would cost us dear if we could not seek God until 
we were dead to the world.. The Magdalen and the woman 
of Samaria were not dead to the world, yet they found 
Him. And as for becoming one with God — when He gives 
that favour. He will not bid yon soul to seek Him, for He 
is already found." 

Teresa's confinement at Toledo was not very rigid. We 
hear of her at Malagon and several times at Avila. After 
Angel de Salazar was put in authority, she visited Segovia, 
Valladolid, and Salamanca. 

About the time of Hormaneto's death, Don Alvaro, 
the Bishop of Avila, was translated to the See of Palencia : 
Teresa became anxious when she remembered the anomalous 
position of San Jose of Avila ; and after consultation with 
Don Alvaro she determined to place it formally under the 
Carmelite Order. This was arranged, and henceforth all 
the convents were on the same footing, subject to the 
same jurisdiction as their foundress herself. 

At the Encarnacion the time had again come for the 
election of a new prioress. The nuns decided almost 
unanimously that they would like Teresa back in this 
capacity. When he heard this, Tostado burst into sudden 


activity. He sent Valdcmoro, the Provincial, iiimsclf to 
hold the election, and bade him threaten with excommuni- 
cation any nun who should venture to vote for Teresa 
de Jesus. The nuns, however, refused to be terrorized ; 
one by one they cast their votes as they had intended. One 
by one their voting papers were burned, and they were 
interdicted from attendance at Mass. Next day, Valdc- 
moro commanded a second election. The rebellious 
majority said they had made their choice and refused to 
cast their votes again. Valdemoro declared Ana de Toledo, 
the nominee of the minority, elected ; the majority refused 
to acknowledge her, and they were all formally excom- 

Teresa, much distressed, did her best to get Ana de 
Toledo accepted. She also made efforts to get the decree 
of excommunication reversed, and wrote to the king about 
it. Philip grimly ordered Tostado to look to the matter. 
Grimly Tostado obeyed ; that is to say, he let six weeks 
go by, then sent a delegate to give the rebels absolution. 
Simultaneously the two Discalced confessors of the 
convent, Juan de la Cruz and German de San Matias, were 
kidnapped, stripped of their habits, flogged and thrown 
into secret prisons. For nine months Juan de la Cruz was 
not heard of. Teresa wrote again to the king, begging 
him to exercise his authority and compel the inoffensive 
friar's release.. Not even Philip was able to discover 
where he was. Every one feared he was dead. In the end, 
however, he appeared among his brethren, pale, emaciated, 
more than ever a spirit rather than a man. He had con- 
trived escape after long months in a dungeon at Toledo, 
where he was treated vidth great cruelty, not allowed even 
a change of clothes, beaten with so much violence that his 
shoulder was permanently injured ; and this, as Gracian 
had said, not by unrighteous men and open foes, but by 


the Calced fathers and brethren of the very Order to which 
he belonged. 

On Christmas Eve 1577, Teresa met with an accident. 
vShe fell and broke her arm. Surgery was rough in those 
days and she suffered tortures. A lady surgeon or 
curandera was sent for, but she did not come till the bone 
had joined itself in the wrong place. It says much for 
the lady practitioner that she had courage to break it 
again and set it properly. Teresa bore the operation 
with great fortitude and would allow none of the nuns to 
be with her for it. Two years later this poor arm met 
with another injury, and she totally lost the use of it. 

About this time Teresa had the great distress of a 
disagreement with the Jesuits which almost amounted 
to a quarrel. All through her career, the fathers of the 
Society had been her staunch friends and supporters, 
and she had been accustomed to turn to them for advice 
in all her difficulties. Now her old friend, Caspar de 
Salazar — the same who had been early influential in obtain- 
ing support for San Jose of Avila — formed the wish to leave 
his own Order a-nd join the Discalced Carmelites. His 
superiors were greatly displeased, and they openly accused 
Teresa of trying to decoy him away. Teresa was offended ; 
at her suggestion Caspar remained with the Society, but 
a good deal of bitterness lingered on both sides. At 
Salamanca also the Jesuits had become unfriendly. They 
were insistent with the prioress there, and with Teresa 
herself, for the readmission of a certain novice who had 
been dismissed from the convent as unsuitable. The 
novice had a large dowry and influential friends ; but 
Teresa would not receive her back, and the Jesuits who 
had taken the matter up hotly were annoyed, and, as 
Teresa thought, unreasonable. She wrote many letters 
to Cracian on the subject showing how keenly she felt 



this unfriendly attitude of her old and valued friends, 
the followers of Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Borgia. 

Taken by themselves, certain remarks Teresa made 
in her correspondence with Maria de San Jos6, the prioress 
at the Seville convent, which was in great financial straits, 
might suggest that she attached great importance to 
novices with dowries. In reality and in practice, the 
dowry was with her the last consideration. Often she 
received nuns who had no money at all, if satisfied as 
to their spiritual state and as to their suitabihty to life 
in a small and austere community. She refused this 
rich young lady pressed on her by the Jesuits ; she 
refused a postulant with an unpleasant squint ; but there 
is no record of her refusing any one merely because she 
was poor. 

Amongst other relics of Teresa's four years of enforced 
quiet, is a precious document in her own handwriting 
which was shown me by the nuns of San Jose in Toledo. 
In the printed collection of her works it is given as 
Relacion x. 

" Being in San Jose of Avila," she writes, " in the 
hermitage we called Nazareth, on the eve of Pascua 
of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), I was thinking of the 
great kindness the Lord had shown me on that same day 
twenty years earlier, when great impetus and fervour of 
spirit came upon me, and held me suspended in the air 
above the earth. ^ In this moment of great recollection 
I heard from our Lord that which I will now relate : that 
I was to tell those Discalced Fathers four things, which 
they must keep and hold fast, by means of which this 
religion (Order) would go forward and increase ; but of 
which neglect would show that they were falling away 
from the steadfastness of its beginning. 

^ Me hizo suspender. See Libro de su Vida, xx. 


" First, that all superiors should enforce one rule. 

" Secondly, that though there might be many houses, 
yet in each should be but few friars. 

" Thirdly, that they should have scant intercourse with 
persons of the world, save for the good of their souls. 

*' Fourthly, that they should teach by deeds rather than 
by words. 

" This was revealed to me in the year 1579, ^^^ because 
it is of great moment, I here sign it with my name, Teresa 
de Jesus." 

Towards the close of Teresa's stay at Seville, the 
foundation, long proposed, of the Convent of San Jose at 
Caravaca was accomplished, not however by the great 
mother in person. After this there was no new foundation 
till that of Villanueva de la Jara, in La ]\Iancha, during the 
period (1580) when Angel de Salazar was exercising his 
brief authority. This convent had been asked for almost 
at once upon Teresa's return from Andalucia, by nine 
ladies who had already established themselves irregularly 
in a hermitage where they " lived with great perfection 
and sanctity, a law unto themselves." A sermon, however, 
from one of the Discalced Fathers determined them to 
join the Reformed Carmelites. Teresa hesitated, question- 
ing whether middle-aged women, who had never submitted 
themselves to authority and rules, would be able to endure 
her discipline. A talk with Gabriel de la Asuncion, who 
belonged to the Discalced Fathers of Nuestra Senora del 
Socorro, neighbours to the suggested convent, dispelled 
her doubts ; and the Lord Himself in words which 
impressed her deeply bade her go on and fear not, as the 
new house should be one greatly to His glory. 

Accompanied by a few nuns, by Fray Gabriel and old 
Antonio de Jesus, she set out from Malagon in February, 
ill herself at starting, but rapidly recovering " as she 


trod the path of obedience." The journey was a triumphal 
progress. News that the great mother was passing by 
spread from village to village, and everywhere kneeling 
crowds asked for her blessing. Teresa does not herself 
tell of this notoriety, but she describes the arrival at 
Nuestra Seiiora del Socorro, where all the friars came out 
to receive their returning prior, and " in that green field 
the white cloaks and bare feet seemed like shining and 
fragrant flowers." 

This monastery was in a place of great solitude, and 
the church was subterranean, "as it were in a cave like 
that of our father Elias." Its foundress was Doiia Catalina 
de Cardona, a lady of the Court, who had been entrusted 
with the education of the ill-starred Don Carlos, and of 
the far more promising Don Juan de Austria, natural 
son of Charles v. After the boys had got beyond her 
care. Dona Catalina fled from the court, disguised in the 
habit of a Carmelite friar, and established herself in 
solitude in this cave (afterwards the church) near Villa- 
nueva, where she practised the greatest austerities and was 
long supposed to be a man expiating some shocking crime 
— a horror to her superstitious neighbours. At last her 
sex and her position were betrayed by a letter to her 
from Don Juan which had fallen into inquisitive hands. 
Now she was declared a saint, — and so pestered with 
attentions that she thought of leaving her cave for some 
spot still more secret. However, she died in her first 
hiding-place ; not before she had made one more appear- 
ance at Court to obtain licence for founding a monastery 
of Discalced CarmeUtes on the site of her hermitage. 

Teresa discusses this enthusiast at length, and says 
that in an age when none remember the fervours of the 
hermits of the desert, it was no wonder men thought her 
mad ; but she herself (Teresa) was covered with confusion 


when she thought of all Dona Catalina had gone through 
for the Lord ; a lady like herself, even more delicately 
nurtured and always holy. And once in an intellectual 
vision, she perceived this saint beside her with her 
glorified and angel-attended body ; and Catalina said to 
her — 

" Sister, accept no weariness, but go forward in the 
service of God." 

When the party arrived at Villanueva, they were 
received by a procession such as that of the day of Corpus 
Christi. The civil officers were there, and all the clergy, 
and a band of singing children carrying torches and banners. 
The Blessed Sacrament was placed at once, and the 
new convent was named of Santa Ana : and the nine 
heatas whose independence had made Teresa anxious, 
bowed themselves to the rule and the discipline ; and the 
house became one of the greatest sanctity. 

It was also of the greatest poverty, and Yepes tells of 
many miracles which preserved the holy sisters from 
starvation, even through the years of dearth. In the year 
of the Universal Catarrh their scanty store of flour did not 
waste ; and their one saucepan fallen into decrepitude 
mysteriously repaired itself, and the pear-tree had a 
stupendous crop so that not only could the nuns feed for 
weeks upon the fruit, stewed or conserved, but they were 
able likewise to sell it at a time when they were too ill 
to do their accustomed needlecraft, and when their neigh- 
bours were too ill and too poor to have any desire to buy 
embroidery or lace. 

And another miracle was that which befell the mother 
herself in the early days of the convent, when she was 
superintending the necessary alterations of the house. A 
workman by inadvertence dropped upon her the great 
cover of the well, and threw her to the ground. Great and 



woeful was his consternation ; but, praise the Lord ! 
Teresa laughed, and sprang to her feet, unhurt. 

Two months she stayed at Villanueva, then she returned 
to San Jose of Toledo. 

And there on Palm Sunday 1580 she was broken by a 
paralytic stroke ; and for many days she lay upon what 
was believed her death-bed. 




I ALMOST wish she had died, for the last two years 
of her Hfe seem to me sad. Is any one ever quite 
the same after a paralytic stroke ? 

Her intellect was not affected ; intrepid as she was, 
she did much work after her illness ; her recovery seemed 
almost complete. Still, one has the impression that from 
this out she was doing more than she was able for ; was 
doing it with more wear and tear than was bearable even 
by her. 

In the autumn she fell ill again, this time of the catarrh, 
which reduced her to the extremity of weakness, affecting 
especially her heart. Before she had half recovered, she 
was dragged forth to the foundation at Palencia, where 
her old friend Don Alvaro de Mendoza was Bishop, and 
very anxious to have Discalced Carmelites in his diocese. 
Teresa was most unwilling to undertake this foundation. 

" I know not," she says, " if it were pain and weakness, 
or if it were the devil, but the truth is I was frightened ; 
so much so that I complained to the Lord ; and distressed 
was I to think how much a poor soul shares in the infirmity 
of the bod}^ Everything seemed to me impossible ; and 
of the people who came to cheer me many only helped 
me to be afraid, telling me that I had grown old, and such 

However, to Palencia she went ; that pleasant old 



town, tree-surrounded in the midst of a desert, which goes 
back to Roman times and was the seat of the first Castilhan 
university ; a town Httlc known to the tourist, with one 
long arcadcd street, and a few winding lanes, with some 
spacious churches and a delicately beautiful Gothic 
cathedral, all testifying that the city was once busier and 
more populous than we see it to-day. The foundation 
was made with no particular difficulty except the usual 
one in finding a house. The nuns are not now in the 
original house, but the move to the present one was made, 
so the prioress told me, within twenty years of the founda- 
tion, no nun having died in the first house. This convent 
received the name of the Casa del Consuelo (the House of 
Consolation), because it was at Palencia that Teresa received 
the news of the ending of the war in the Order, and the 
appointment of her beloved Gracian as the first Provincial 
of the Discalced Carmehtes. 

After this foundation at Palencia came an invitation 
to found at that somewhat inaccessible place, Soria, by 
request of the Bishop of Osma (Doctor Velasquez) and of 
Dofia Beatriz de Viemonte y Navarre, who was of royal 
descent. This lady provided a house, a church and a 
sufficient income ; and this foundation also was effected 
without difficulty. 

At Soria, one of Teresa's biographers, Francisco de 
Ribera, the Jesuit, saw her for the last time ; and at Osma, 
on her return journey to Avila, Diego de Yepes, her other 
biographer, passing through from Zamora to La Rioja, 
delayed a few days that he also might speak with her — 
for the last time. 

She had left Soria just before the Feast of the Exalta- 
tion of the Cross, and she gave the nuns some verses she 
had composed for the occasion. Ever since in that convent 
at Soria, on the anniversary (14th September) at the hour 


of the midday recreation, the nuns carry the crucifix in 
procession through the cloisters and sing Teresa's hymn — 

En la cruz esta la vida In the Cross is life, 

Y el consuelo. Consolation, strength ; 

Y ella sola es camino 'Tis the only path 

Para el cielo. Leads to heaven at length. 

After bidding Fray Diego de Yepes goodbye and leaving 
Osma, Teresa had a singularly trying journey to Segovia^ 
The August sun was hot ; the roads were dreadful, and the 
guide — a young priest of high theological attainments — 
lost the way. Several times the crazy vehicle was nearly 
upset ; finally the nuns had to get out and help to lift it 
over the rocks. Teresa was much struck by the good 
humour of the young theologian who had misled them. 

" I praised the Lord," she says ; " thinking how 
great must be the virtue which could bear up against such 

From Segovia, the indefatigable mother hurried to 
Avila, infinitely distressed to learn that the dearest of all 
her convents, the first San Jose, had fallen into financial 
difficulties, and worse still into something approaching 
spiritual relaxation. The chaplain. Padre Julian, had 
become over lenient. He even allowed the nuns to eat 
meat. This was against the Rule ; and was also an 
unfortunate extravagance at a time when alms had almost 
ceased because the convent had received a trifling and 
still unpaid legacy. Presumably there were other irregu- 
larities besides the meat eating, for Teresa deposed the 
prioress, and took up the reins of government herself. 
The deterioration shows how hard it is to keep up a life of 
constant renunciation which in moments of fervour seems 
easy enough. All too soon the fire of enthusiasm goes 
out ; nor is it given to every one to understand the meaning 
of mortification. Teresa as she grew older attributed less 



VMr(u(> to it ; hor stiTii common sense showed her that 
unless cheerfully uc{iuiesced in, it must degenerate into 
superstition and formalism, the letter without the spirit, 
the sign without the thing signilied. 

While at Avila, Teresa was one day astounded by the 
arrival of Fray Diego dc la Trinidad, Vicar Provincial of 
Andalucia and Fray Juan de la Cruz, prior of the monas- 
tery at Granada, with litters and sumpter mules, intended 
for the transportation of Teresa herself on a second visit 
to Andalucia. A convent, they said, was urgently required 
at Granada, for the glory of God and the reformation of 
the customs of that city. Not even the energy of the two 
important friars could overcome Teresa's disinclination to 
Andalucia. She refused absolutely to go to Granada, 
saying that she was already in treaty about a foundation 
at Burgos of the north. However, she consented to send 
in her place Ana de Jesus, one of the most distinguished of 
her nuns, who had just ended her term as prioress at Veas. 

Ana de Jesus was at this time thirty-five years of age 
and had been ten years in the Order. She was of noble 
birth, daughter of Don Diego de Lobera of Plasencia, 
and had passed a remarkable girlhood. Till seven years 
of age she was deaf and dumb ; but after her cure learned 
with marvellous rapidity, and soon gave evidence of great 
intelligence and strength of character. She had, too, 
considerable beauty, with fair hair and very pretty hands 
which she could not but regard with some complacency. 
Brought up by an ambitious grandmother. Ana had many 
suitors ; but at ten years old she had made a vow of chastity, 
at fourteen she left her grandmother, taking refuge in the 
house of a more seriously-minded uncle, where she cut off 
her beautiful hair and put on the garb of a beata. Under 
a Jesuit director she attained to considerable sanctity ; 
devoting her life to good works and to adoration of the 


Blessed Sacrament. She became quite a personage at 
Plasencia where she Uved with the uncle, was called la 
Reyna de las mujeres (the queen of women) and used her 
influence with the Bishop to put a stop to bull-fights. 
When she decided to join the Discalced Carmelites Teresa 
wrote that she would receive her not as a subject but as a 
companion who would be her coadjutor in the work of 
spreading the reform. After Teresa's death, Ana de 
Jesus took a more important position than even Maria 
de San Jose, with whom she worked in opposing the changes 
introduced by Doria in the Order as soon as he had rid 
himself of Gracian. She made the foundation at Madrid 
and afterwards introduced the Carmelite reform in France 
and Belgium. 

Teresa was not as fond of her as she was of Maria de 
San Jose, but she thought highly of her abilities, and out 
of all her nuns in the many convents chose her for the 
important and difficult task at Granada. 

Accompanied by three nuns from Avila and six from 
Veas, Ana had a good journey to Andalucia, and outside 
Granada was met by Juan de la Cruz, the bearer of friendly 
messages from the Archbishop. But when the nuns 
reached the city there was no Archbishop to receive them. 
He had taken to his bed, prostrate with nervous shock. 
For his palace had been struck by lightning, his valuable 
library destroyed, and his mules all slain in their stable. 

The convent was duly founded, but had a somewhat 
chequered history. Ribera says it was only moderately 
successful, and Teresa found a good deal of fault with 
Ana, her deputy, whose mistakes were perhaps due to 

" The time of Teresa's death drew on," says the chron- 
icler, " but the Lord kept her at work till the last." We 


liave arrived at her final labour, by 110 means the least 
arduous ; the foundation at Burgos. 

Six years earlier the Jesuits had suggested a reformed 
convent in this northern city, the climate of which Charles v 
declared to be ten months of invierno (winter) and two 
of inferno (hell). Nothing could be done in the matter 
then, but in 1580 Teresa approached the new Archbishop, 
Don Cristobal Vela, through their mutual friend, Don 
Alvaro, Bishop of Palcncia, and received his sanction 
for the foundation. Don Cristobal, himself a native of 
Avila, knew Teresa well by reputation ; he welcomed 
the proposal of the convent, saying he had often wished 
for one in his previous diocese. Delay was, however, 
caused by Teresa's illness, and then by her business at 
Palencia, Soria, and Avila. 

At last she reminded the Archbishop of his promise, and 
said she was now ready to undertake the foundation. Don 
Cristobal replied with unmistakable change of tone. Oh 
yes ! he was willing to have the new convent ; but Teresa 
must remember all the difficulties she had met with in 
other places, and must not think of founding without 
distinct permission from the civil authorities. 

Teresa was dismayed by the chill of this reply ; but 
Don Alvaro of Palencia was so sure it was all right that 
she wrote to Dona Catalina de Tolosa, a wealthy widow with 
daughters already in the Order, and asked her to find a 
house suitable for the convent's temporary use. 

Dona Catalina offered her own palace for the beginning, 
and went in person to obtain the required licence from the 
city authorities. 

By this time it was December 1581, and Teresa was 

scared by the accounts she received of the climate of 

Burgos. She thought of sending a deputy to open the 

convent ; but the Lord said to her : " No hagas casus 



de los frios que yo soy el verdadero calor" (Take no thought 
for the cold, since I am the true warmth). And she resolved 
to set out at once. 

On 2nd January the party sallied forth from Avila ; 
Teresa and Ana de San Bartolome her companion, several 
nuns, a couple of chaplains, and to Teresa's joy the Pro- 
vincial, Gracian himself. He had chanced to visit her in 
Avila, and hearing the whole story of the proposed founda- 
tion did not feel at all satisfied by the attitude of Don 
Cristobal the Archbishop. 

" It was God's providence sent him," says Teresa in 
her merry way, " for he proved most useful in pulling out 
our carts when they got stuck in the mud." 

She confesses it was madness to attempt the journey 
at such a time. Snow began at the first stage, obliter- 
ating the roads, at the best of times bad enough. Teresa 
fell ill of a sore throat, so painful that she could not laugh 
at the adventures of the road, " though truly, once they 
be ended, such things are amusing to relate." They 
paused a few days at Valladolid and again at Palencia, 
where they were embarrassed by venerating crowds. The 
nuns of the convent met the travellers singing Te Deum 
laudamus, and had all their cloister decorated as if the 
Mother were already canonized. They knelt, imploring 
her to stay on with them, for the rain was such that the 
roads had become running rivers, and Gracian suggested 
that the journey should be prosecuted in boats. 

Teresa was not to be daunted though her nuns were 
frightened. " When they got to the pontones (so the 
ferries are called at Burgos) and saw nothing but a 
world of waters and of sky, and knew that the least devia- 
tion of the rudder would plunge them in the flood, the}; 
made their confessions and sobbed the Credo." 

" Eh, my daughters ! " said Teresa, " what better car 


you wish tluin to be martyred for the love of the Lord ? 
See now, I will go first, and if I am drowned, then I will 
suffer you to go back." But inwardly she sighed and said — 
" Oh Lord ! when wilt Thou cease to strew our path 
with obstacles ? " 

And the Lord spake to her, and answered — 
" Murmur not ; for thus is it that I treat My friends." 
At which Teresa (humorous even in her prayers) sighed 
again, and said — 

" Ah, dear Lord ! and that is why Thou hast so few ! " 
They got safely across the river, but presently Teresa 
saw the cart containing the four nuns overturned, and the 
terrified women in imminent danger of falling down the 
precipice. They were saved, however, by the manifestly 
miraculous strength of the young driver. 

At last, 26th January, they entered the grand old city 
of Burgos, known to every traveller by its magnificent 
(to my taste over ornate) cathedral. They entered by 
the Gate of Santa Maria, with its rows of quaint figures 
erected by Charles v. They went straight to the Church 
of the Augustinians to bow before the far-famed Santo 
Crucifijo ; ^ and then lumbered along through the sleet, 
over the cobblestones and the pools of slush, to the palace 
of Dona Catalina de Toloso, who received them hospitably, 
and, sensible woman, gave them a large fire -before which 
to dry their clothes. 

But poor Teresa was prostrate with fever and sore 
throat. Next day when friends and deputations came to 
congratulate her on her arrival, she was in bed, and had 
to talk to them through a corridor window. For days she 
could not hear Mass or attend to business. Gracian, how- 
ever, went to the Archbishop and asked permission for 
immediate foundation. 

^ The celebrated figure called the " Holy Christ of Burgos," 


But no ; Don Cristobal was displeased and cold. Like 
the Archbishop of Seville before him, he said he could not 
permit the convent without guarantee of a sufficient income 
and a permanent house. As to the house they were in for 
the moment, that of Dofia Catalina, they must not celebrate 
Mass there, or they would give out that the convent was 
founded. And Teresa ought, he added severely, to have 
communicated with him before venturing to bring the nuns. 

Three weeks passed, and fortunately the nuns were 
very comfortable in Dona Catalina's palace. Gracian 
also was well lodged, staying with an old university friend, 
the Canon Doctor Manso. Teresa lost her sore throat, 
and — accustomed to success with prelates — went herself 
to see Don Cristobal, the Archbishop. For once her 
powers of persuasion failed ; he remained obdurate. And 
Gracian, the beloved, had to go away, as he had under- 
taken to preach Lenten sermons at Valladolid. He almost 
thought the proposed convent must be given up ; but 
Teresa heard the Lord's voice saying — 

" Now, Teresa, ten fuerte " (be brave) ; and she resolved 
to persevere. Dr. Manso got rooms for her and her com- 
panions at the Hospital de la Concepcion, where was a 
chapel with the Blessed Sacrament reserved and daily Mass. 
The nuns all moved thither — Dona Catalina still giving 
them their food. They did not leave for many weeks, 
and were much oppressed by the groans of the hospital 
patients, the evil smells, the rats, and other noxious vermin 
{sahandijas asquerosas). 

After long search a suitable house was found, and offered 
to Teresa cheap, as its owner liked the idea of a convent. 
"It was quite a Paradise," says Teresa, " with a lovely 
view, and a garden, and fresh air, and excellent water, and 
everything we could want." 

When it was bought, even the Archbishop sent Teresa 


his congratulations. He did not, however, send the licence, 
and afl(M- waiting for several weeks further, Teresa, out of 
all patience, begged Don Alvaro of Paloncia to use his 
influence in her behalf. Don Alvaro sat down at once and 
wrote his Archbishop a very angry letter. Happily lie 
showed it to Teresa, who begged him at once to put it in 
the fire. Had not Don Cristobal already said that even 
as Christ had made friends of two enemies, so Teresa had 
made enemies of two friends ? 

f?^ Don Alvaro rewrote his letter in milder strain, and sent 
it to the prelate ; Dr. Manso pleaded also. The Archbishop 
gave in, and handed the licence to the worthy canon. He 
carried it himself to Teresa. His way of announcing the 
good news was that without a word he set to work vigor- 
ously ringing the convent bell. 

It was now 19th April 1582 ; and this was the fifteenth 
convent which Teresa had founded in person. After 
Easter, Gracian returned ; but very shortly was summoned 
to an interview with his father, who was going on state 
business to Italy, and before starting wished to settle some 
affairs with his son. Gracian had to go. Perhaps in her 
heart Teresa guessed that never again in the flesh was she 
to see this beloved disciple, who had brought so much 
affection and happiness to her declining years. 

The new convent was named San Jose de Santa Ana, and 
among the earliest novices were Dona Catalina and two of 
her daughters. The house prospered, and was appreciated. 

On Ascension Day, great floods threatened the whole of 
this quarter of the town. The neighbours fled ; but Teresa, 
having carried the Blessed Sacrament to the top of the 
house, refused to let the nuns leave. The lower floors were 
inundated, and for some days they had no food. At last 
a stranger — possibly an angel, they thought, — dived down 
to open a door, and so let the waters escape. Eight cart- 


loads of gravel had washed in — so says Ana de San Barto- 
lome — but no one was any the worse, and the Archbishop, 
now entirely friendly, said Teresa's prayers and fortitude 
had rescued the city. 

Her last great labour successfully accomplished, Teresa 
came away from Burgos in July, leaving as prioress 
Tomasina Bautista, whom she had brought from Alba. 
Probably she and all of them knew they should see each 
other's face no more. Her wish was to return to Avila, 
her native place ; to be laid to sleep in that first of her 
convents, which had been her dearest. It was not to be. 

Few things are more pathetic than to see one used to 
command, losing through the weakness of age the power 
to enforce authority. Teresa's last writings — letters, and 
four additional chapters of the Book of the Foundations — 
show her to have been in full possession of her intellect. 
There is no confusion, no loss of memory, or of zeal. Her 
writing is still graphic and easy, the principles she lays 
down are sound ; her advice is good. And yet — it is quite 
evident that her expressions do not carry their former 
weight. She finds more fault ; scolds even ; has become 
vaguely " trying " to those who love her best. It is the 
fate of many an old man or old woman ; and if he still live 
on, the time will come when his opinion is superseded, and 
even if he is still allowed to talk, nobody minds what he 
says. I am glad Teresa died as she came up to her 
threescore years and ten ; for I see signs that this last 
sad stage might have been reached even by her. 

She who had been used to twisting prelates round her 
little finger had not succeeded with that dilatory Arch- 
bishop of Burgos. His unwillingness survived a personal 
interview, and when at last he gave way it was at the 
instance of Teresa's friends. 

The convents were getting a little out of hand, perhaps 


merely because even the best things " hold in perfection 
but a little nioniont." A few years earlier when Teresa's 
word had been law, she had governed tliein by letter without 
difficulty. Now there was trouble at Salamanca, and we 
find complaints of the prioress. Ana de la Encarnacion ; 
and the prioress at Avila had been deposed ; and there 
was something, it is not very clear what, wrong at Alba. 
Doha Teresa de Laiz, the foundress, was taking too much 
upon herself. She wanted Tomasina Bautista back, and 
Teresa will not allow Tomasina to leave Burgos, and 
none of the nuns at Alba will consent to be prioress, and 
those who have left ask to return. In the earlier days did 
Teresa consult them whether they wished to go or to stay ? 
I think so ; but I feel sure she did not allow them to 
volunteer their preference. 

There had been a coolness with Antonio de Jesus ; 
probably his own fault. He does not seem to have been 
gifted with a very pleasant disposition, and probably he 
knew Teresa's opinion that he was not to be thought of 
for Provincial. The incipient quarrel was made up ; and 
one hardly knows whether to be glad or sorry that for the 
last few months this old man was Teresa's prelado (superior), 
— he being for the time Gracian's Vice-Provincial in 
Castille — ; that he was with her when she died, and that 
her last confession was made to him. 

She even complained a little (by no means so much nor 
so gravely as his enemies afterwards made out ) of her beloved 
Gracian. She told him in her very last letter to him that 
he did not consult enough with men of importance ; and 
was careless or indolent in small things : accusations perfectly 
true. Probably it was impossible for him to come to her at 
the last. She, however, reproaches him as to that with some 
bitterness ; and there was nothing new in her complaints 
that his letters were increasingly few and far between. 


Teresa's severest reproofs are addressed to that Ana 
de Jesus who had gone to found at Granada. She wrote a 
letter of remonstrance, directed not to the prioress herself, 
but to. the community of San Jose in Granada. Ana is to 
blame for her whole conduct of the affair ; for buying 
too dear a house, for taking too many nuns from Veas, 
for sending some, but not the right ones, away. 

" With regard to Discalced nuns," says Teresa, " I am 
in the place of the Father Provincial, and I order you to 
send back those nuns from Veas." 

Especially Ana has done wrong in letting her nuns 
become too much attached to her. 

"It is altogether alien to the spirit of my Discalced 
Sisters to have any attachment to creatures, even to their 
prioress. Never shall I forget the letter written to me from 
Veas when your Reverence left her office there ! Not even 
an unreformed nun should have written it ! You are in 
Granada to establish a new kingdom ; and you and those 
under you ought to behave like men of fortitude, not like 
silly little women." 

It would not be fair to say this letter was too severe. 
But I detect in it a slight shrillness, an insistence on her 
own authority, which suggests a fear that Ana de Jesus 
was forgetting it. 

In June 1580 Teresa's brother Lorenzo de Cepeda had 
died, and a violent family dispute was in progress about 
his will. It was thought he had left too much money to 
Teresa's convents, and his son Francisco's mother-in-law — 
though what right she had to interfere I cannot say — was 
very insistent about trying to get the will altered. Maria 
Bautista, Teresa's clever and capable niece, who was no 
longer young, yet was many years younger than Teresa, 
joined the discontents ; and there was an assembly of the 
family in Valladolid to meet Teresa and try to persuade 


luM- lli;il Ihc will was null and void. Torcsa would have 
conscnU'd to a compromise, but this reversal of Lorenzo's 
arrangements was too much ! vShe could not agree to 
that ! And the family sent a lawyer to argue with her — 
the great woman who a year or two ago had commanded 
them all — and he had the impudence to tell her she was 
not the saint she seemed, and that many secular persons 
would behave more Christianly than did she. Teresa 
replied quite meekly ; but she must have writhed. 

And Maria Bautista lost her temper, and she also was 
rude ; and when Teresa was leaving the convent told her 
and Ana de San Bartolome — who probably put in her oar 
too much — that they had better go away, and not come 
back any more. The story is told by Ana de San Barto- 
lome ; let us hope she exaggerated. 

And on i6th September, when the wearied old woman and 
her anxious attendant arrived at Medina delCampo,something 
in the convent arrangements was not what the foundress 
liked ; and she uttered reproof too soon, reproof perhaps 
excessive — it is so easy to be excessive when one is very tired ! 
And this prioress also was offended, and showed it. Teresa 
was agitated ; she could not eat, she could not sleep, and she 
left early the next morning without having broken her fast. 

Truly the glory was departed ! It seems almost in- 
credible that these women, who owed her so much, should 
not have had patience with her now she was aged and ill. 
I say her spirit must have writhed, not so much at the un- 
kindness, as at her own weakness which exposed her to 
it ; even as Saint Peter must have writhed, when in his old 
age another came to gird him and to carry him whither he 
would not. 

Well ! it was Teresa's last trouble ; and probably in 
her meekness she did not think it the worst she had lived 
through, nor forget that her motto was " To suffer or to die." 




BEFORE taking leave of Teresa, let us give at least 
a glance at her letters, of which about four hundred 
have survived. They are contemporaneous with 
the most interesting period of her life, and the last was 
written only seventeen days before her death. The 
manuscripts are preserved in public libraries, in private 
collections, in the convents of her Order. Some have 
been written by an amanuensis ; many entirely by her- 

One such I found framed and glazed in the Convent 
of San Jose at Segovia, and the nuns were kind enough 
to let me get it photographed. The photograph came 
out with only moderate distinctness. It shows the bold 
characteristic writing and the signature clearly enough. 
It is legible ; but not, I confess, easy to read ; and I append 
a copy transcribed from Don V. de la Fuente's published 
edition of Teresa's letters, this one appearing as number 

Letter to Padre Fray Ambrosio Mariano de San Benito 
written from Avila in November 1578 : — 

" Jesus sea con vuestra reverencia. j Oh como quisiera 

alargarme en esta ! porque me ha dado gran contento su 

carta, y sangreme ayer y mandanme sangrar hoy, y no 

he podido escribir ; no pense se fuera tan presto, y estdme 








dando priesa. Hame dado la vida la sangrIa d la cabeza. 
Buena estar6 presto, placiendo d Dios. De lo que me 
holgado mucho cs, dc que sc venga con los frailes, ya que 
ha dc estar ahf ; mas mire, mi padre, que le contardn las 
palabras. Por amor de Dios que ande con gran aviso, y 
no sea claro : lo que dicen del Tostado, creo yo muy bien ; 
que si es cuerdo, no vernd, hasta tcncr el si de quien dice : 
por eso le queria el alcanzar por mano dc vuestra reverencia. 
No he visto tan donosa cosa, que ya recibi las cartas, que 
vuestra reverencia dice me habia enviado, y ayer esa de 
nuestro padre. En lo que toca 4 el padre fray Baltasar, 
cierto que se lo he escrito, y an mas de una vez. Como 
vuestra reverencia este con los frailes, esta muy bien ahf. 
Siempre vaya come va, dando content© k el nuncio, que 
en fin es nuestro perlado, y a todos parece bien la obediencia. 
No hay mas lugar. De vuestra reverencia 

Teresa de Jesus" 
Written, copied, or printed, Teresa's letters are harder 
to read than her books. She deals in abbreviations ; more 
puzzhng still, in colloquialisms ; in her later years — the 
time of the persecution — she expresses herself in enigmas, 
the key to which has belonged neither to the enemy nor 
to the modern reader ; and she has fancy names for almost 
all the persons she mentions. Thus the Discalced nuns 
are Butterflies (mariposas), and the friars. Eagles; the 
Observants are Birds of Night, or Grasshoppers ; the 
Inquisitors, Angels ; and the Secular Clergy, Cats ; Hor- 
maneto, the Nuncio who was old, is Methuselah ; and 
Covarrubias, the stately President of the Council, is Mel- 
chisidek. Gracian is Paul, or more frequently Elisha. 
Juan de la Cruz is Little Seneca ; herself she calls Angela or 
Lorencia ; and, most strange of all, the Lord Jesus Christ 
she speaks of as Jose. 

The letters all begin with the cipher of Jesus, J.H.S., 


the H being made into a cross. A few letters headed 
'' Jesus, Maria, Jose,"are forthisreason considered spurious. ^ 
She signed herself on formal occasions, " Teresa de Jesus, 
Carmelita " ; more frequently Teresa de Jesus, or simply 
Teresa J. She sealed her letters sometimes with a sedl 
having the cipher of Jesus in the form adopted by the 
Jesuits,^ J.ft.S. ; sometimes with a seal engraved with 
a skull and crossbones. The former was shown me in the 
convent at Toledo, and the nuns gave me an impression 
taken from it. 

The letters were dispatched by the regular postman, or 
by private messengers whom she thought quicker and 
more trustworthy. Some of these messengers she speaks 
of as honest good fellows, to be commended if not rewarded 
by the recipient. 

The only persons who made a practice of preserving 
and collecting Teresa's letters were Maria de San Jose and 
Gracian ; but Gracian's collection was unfortunately 
dispersed after his death. The letters may be roughly 
classified as — 

I St. Family letters ; 
[ 2nd. Letters to friars or nuns of her Order ; 

3rd. Miscellaneous letters. 

I can give but the scantiest specimens of each. 

I havealready expressed a doubt whether Teresa 
att^ed to that detachmen t from famiiyTnterests an(|*" 
affec tjonsja^iicli she recommen3ed~to Tier nuns. "In saying 
this I should not, 1 think^ offendTier, for repeatedly she 
interrupts her admonitions to say meekly — 
" In all matters do as I say^notjas^Ido." 
At any rate she had much__natural affect ion jej 

1 The style of these letters strikes one at once as unUke Teresa's. 

2 See below, p. 288. 


her brothers and sisters^ nc]}hcws_and nieces ; she saw 

^hcnj frequently^ iuid concerned herself much in their 
affairs. J^cr affection for the childre]Ql;^TTatTirally toOfe- 
tJiefQrm of wanting to make monks and nuns of tliemT" 

^From her point of view that was all right ; she thoiagTit 
the religious life the highest and the best. At least two 
of her nieces followed her to the Discalccd Carmelites ; 
but Lorenzo's son, after she had induced him to try the 
life, had the courage to extricate himself, to take a wife 
and the somewhat formidable mother-in-law already 
mentioned. The wife Teresa was able to bear — she never 
reprobates matrimony — but the mother-in-law was too 
much, and there was disputing and enmity. I don't 
think that family disturbance at the close of Teresa's 
honoured life is the pleasantest part of her biography, 
and I feel sorry she had not in this instance left her rela- 
tions to take care of themselves, as she said was the wisest 
way for nuns. 

The first of her letters which has survived for us is to 
Lorenzo, while he was still at Lima in Peru. It is dated 
from Avila ; 31st December 1561. It is about some 
money he has sent home to his sisters. Her own share, 
says Teresa, is too great ; yet it comes in conveniently, for 
the new convent of poverty, San Jose de Avila, the founda- 
tion of which, helped by Dofia Guiomar, is coming in sight. 
She tells of her acquaintance with Peter of Alcantara 
and with the Jesuits, whom she calls Theatines ; further, 
discusses her step-sister Maria de Cepeda, who has recently 
lost her husband, and is now threatened with a lawsuit 
by Juan de Ovalle, her brother-in-law. Juan de Ovalle 
has a good disposition, but on this occasion it is better 
not to trust to it ; and if Lorenzo thinks of sending him a 
present let it be with the stipulation that the suit against 
poor Maria shall be dropped. Finally, with messages 


to her other brothers in Peru, and kissing the hands of her 
good Lorenzo many thousand times, she signs herself 
his very certain servant — 

DoNa Teresa de Ahumada 
This signature with title and family name was customary 
among the high-born nuns of the Encarnacion. 

We have to wait nine years for the next letter to 
Lorenzo, which gives interesting information about her 
convents both for men and women, and tells of her present 
residence at Toledo, which has a milder climate than 
Avila. It would be a good place for the delicate brother 
Sehor Jeronimo de Cepeda to settle in when he comes home 
from Peru ; Avila would probably be more suitable for 
Lorenzo himself. 

She then tells of some transactions in which Juan de 
Ovalle is helping her, and says that in her zeal for the 
support of these houses of God, she has become a great 
bargainer. The letter concludes with some words, sup- 
plementary no doubt to a previous letter of condolence 
on the death of Lorenzo's wife — 

" I want you to understand the goodness of the Lord 
in giving her such a death. I wish I could comfort you in 
your grief. See, it is for those who do not remember there 
is an eternal life to grieve so much for those who have 
gone to it, and have passed on from this misery^ here." 

There is a long and eventful interval before the next 
letter to her brother, which is from Toledo in July 1576. 
Lorenzo has now returned to Spain, and been with her 
in Seville ; he has put himself under her direction not 
only spiritually, but as regards his worldly affairs, and 
has just established himself and his boys at La Serna, a 
property two or three miles outside Avila. From this 
on, the letters are full of amusing details which give us 
^ Miseria, the sense is rather destitution than discomfort. 


glimpses of domestic life whether in a convent or in the 
home of a well-to-do country gentleman. 

" What a long fortnight it has been without tidings ! 
But now I have heard you arc well ; and I don't think 
your establishment at all too big. How I laughed about 
that housekeeper of Don Francisco de Salcedo's, who 
has been bothering you with her attentions ! I am 
amused that already in July you are feeling the cold. 
Juan de Ovalle, always tiresome with his little jealousies, 
has been making a pother about Peralvarez Cambron 
(a first cousin), but I have written to smooth him down. 
My sister J nana must have a good deal of worry with 
this man ; yet he is really a good fellow, and certainly 
anxious to be on good terms with you." 

Teresa had helped in the packing when Lorenzo was 
leaving Se\Tille ; and this and several of the letters refer 
to some jewels, including Teresita's Agnus Dei which 
cannot be found. They must be in the arqiiilla (small 
case), the key of which is broken. Lorenzo must get a 
pcksmith to open it ; but let him be most careful and 
very secret ; for the box also contains the precious 
manuscript of the Book of the Foundations. 

Various household directions follow. Teresa sends 
quinces for Lorenzo's cook to make into the ever-popular 
came de memhrillo (quince cheese) to eat at dessert. He 
had better not buy a mule, but a good workaday cob, for 
himself ; as for the boys, let them go on foot and attend 
to their lessons. And it's well not to over-burthen oneself 
with servants, especially when starting a new house. 
But the first matter to be attended to is to settle 
about a school for the boys ; on this and on all other 
matters Don Francisco de Salcedo, the cahallero 
santo, is competent to advise ; and so is Maestro 


Another letter a few months later deals also with 
these interesting trivialities. 

" When I write to Francisco (Lorenzo's eldest son) 
don't please read my letters. He has got a melancholy 
fit on him, and he makes a confidante of me. I've heard 
that one of the rooms in your house is likely to fall in. 
Please examine it very carefully. Send me the case with 
my MSS, and pack them very well. Send also my seal 
for I can't bear using this death's head. I want to seal 
with the name of Him who I would were in my heart, 
as He was in the heart of San Ignacio.^ As to your 
regrets for having bought La Serna," continues Teresa, 
the monitress, " they are the work of the devil, because you 
didn't thank God for having given it to you ! Make up 
your mind that it's all for the best. Do you suppose 
that in working your property you won't be disciplined 
with duties and trials ? Or that to have nothing to do 
is the way to pray well ? Time well employed — as yours 
will be in looking after your children's inheritance — is no 
hindrance to prayer. Jacob, and Abraham, and San 
Joaquin did not fail to be saints because they attended 
to their flocks. And observe that when we want to flee 
from trial and work, everything tires us. You mustn't 
give up because you get fatigued by what is a recreation 
to others>_JWe' to serv e God as_.HeJikes, not_as^ 
we likg/^ 

" How could you go and make a vow without first 
consulting me ? " she continues, gravely. " That's a pretty 
sort of obedience ! I approve your resolution, but vows 
are dangerous, and may turn venial into mortal sins. 
True, / made a vow, but it was a qualified one. I 
should not have dared to make that vow of yours, for I 
know that not even the apostles could entirely avoid 
^ See above, p. 284. 



little sins. God will accept your goodwill, but you had 
better get that vow commuted as quickly as possible." 

eresa evidently tiiought her brother spiritually excited 132 

and over-strained ; her advice to him is generally on the 

common-sense side. " When you are kept awake at 

night by these holy agitations, you had better lie down 

and try to get to sleep. Your head needs sleep whether 

you feel it or not. Otherwise you may arrive at not 

being able to pray at all. But if you persist in sitting 

up do take care not to get chilled, which is very bad for 

the liver. I don't at all approve of your wishing to sit 

up praying all night. You mustn't do it, no matter how 

fervent you feel. Don't be so afraid of sleep. God gives 

us blessings in our sleep. If you had heard Fray Pedro 

de Alcantara discourse on this subject you wouldn't be 

so afraid. 

" I wish you had sent me the hymn you wrote ! For 
the hymns we sing have generally neither rhyme nor 
reason {pies ni caheza). 

"I remember a villancico^ I wrote once with great en- 
thusiasm : — 

i Oh hermosura, que ecedeis Oh Beauty, which makst poor 

and vain 
A todas las hermosuras ! All other beauties, whatsoe'er ! 

Sin herir, dolor haceis : Thou without wounding givest 

Y sin dolor, deshaceis And without pain the heart 

dost wean 
El amor de las criaturas. From things created, howe'er 


I can't remember it all. What nonsense for a foundress 
to write such things ! God forgive me for wasting m}^ time ! 
In the days when I wTote those verses, Dofia Guiomar and 
I were like one person. Remember me to her." 

^ Song with refrain, composed for some church festival. 


.etter Another letter begins about a present of sweetmeats 
and sardines which Lorenzo has sent her, but is chiefly 
on spiritual matters. She has been having her raptures 
again (1577) and alas! in public, at Matins, when she could 
neither resist not conceal the impetus. She has been 
going about like a drunken person ; though her soul lies 
in great peace. Yet she prays the Lord it may not occur 
in public again. It is distressing, and she cannot see 
there is greater sanctity in it. Nevertheless, the experience 
has been a great comfort ; for she had been suffering 
from dryness. Lorenzo himself has been having experience 
of supernatural gifts in prayer. But he must be careful 
and not try to force such things. It is best to get some- 
thing to do ; for unless the rapture is overmastering, 
one cannot be sure it is of God and not self-induced. She 
sends him a hair shirt ; but he must promise to use it in 
moderation. It is good to feel one is suffering for God 
— it stirs up one's love. Let him tell her how he gets 
on with it. She calls it nineria (childishness) ; and her 
natural merriment effervescing, she adds — 

" I can't help laughing to think that you send me 
sardines, sweets, and money, and I send you a hair shirt ! " 

,etter A little later, she recommends him to consult Padre 

^"^ Julian de Avila, the chaplain, who is really good ; and 
Lorenzo may take the opportunity of doing the good 
man some small kindnesses, for he is very poor and ascetic ; 
a little conversation will be good for the two of them, 
as life is not intended to be all prayer. 

.etter She tclls him of her affair with the Inquisition. It 
"^^ is going well. The chief Inquisitor Quiroga has read the 
Book of her Life, and praised it to Dofia Luisa, and asked 
why Teresa hasn't founded a monastery in Madrid ? 
And this Quiroga is going to be Archbishop of Toledo, 
which is very good, as he is a great friend to the Discalced. 


We pass on to a IrttcM- of 1580, long and highly rharac- Letter 
teristic, about that brother Pedro de Aimmada who was 
the family trial. 

Ho had come home from America without any money 
and it would seem with a very bad temper. Lorenzo had 
given him a home at La Serna, but Pedro quickly grew 
dissatisfied, and said he would go to Seville. On the way 
he visited Teresa at Toledo. She writes at once to 
Lorenzo : — 

" God allows this poor man to trouble us that He may 
see how far our charity will stretch. Alas ! mine comes, 
very short ! I can hardly regard this tiresome person 
as a brother or even as a neighbour, though I can't help 
pitying him. My natural inclination is to plead for him 
no more, so disgusted I am with his discontent when in 
his good brother's house. I implore you, do not permit 
him to come thither again for all his begging or even for 
his necessity. It is not La Serna which has upset his 
health ; for he began his grumbling before ever he went 
there. He has engaged a muleteer to take him to Seville, 
why no one knows ; and really the heat of the journey 
is enough to kill him, when he's already weak in the head ; 
and it's only another excuse for wasting money. I have 
persuaded him to wait at least till an answer comes to this 

Teresa goes on to remind Lorenzo that the law of 
perfection will not suffer him to let the poor wTetch starve 
by withdrawing his alms. True, Pedro's only claim on 
Lorenzo is that he is his brother ; but then Joseph owed 
even less to his brothers, whom he helped. The Lord has 
shown great goodness to Lorenzo, and \vill wish him to do 
great things in return ; and truly this matter of Pedro 
is a great thing. Suppose Pedro were to die on this 
journey to Seville ? it would mean endless weeping for 


his brother ! And if a good deal is done for Christ's sake, 
the doer will never be the poorer for it. Lorenzo has been 
in the habit of giving Pedro 200 reales for his clothing as 
well as board and lodging in his house, and no doubt other 
things too, more than he knew. Well, let Lorenzo now 
give him 400 reales ; and then Pedro can go and live 
with his sister Juana, or with his cousin Diego de Guz- 
man. And let the money be paid direct to whomever 
undertakes to board him ; on no account to Pedro him- 
self, for she foresees he will never be long anywhere. Any 
plan would be preferable to having Pedro back in his 
brother's family ; and if Lorenzo agrees to this plan, let 
him feel he is giving the money at least partly to his sister 
Teresa, as if she were in necessity, she who at any rate 
would never wish to cause him annoyance. For a long 
time she has felt that Pedro must somehow be got away — 
such anxiety and such grief it has been to her to see Lorenzo 
saddled with such an incubus. 

It would be hard to imagine a more delicate letter than 
this which puts the character of the three persons con- 
cerned distinctly before us. Lorenzo apparently agreed 
to pay the suggested pension, and Pedro was boarded out 
at least temporarily with the cousin. 
Letter But it was in December of the same year that Teresa 
^°^ wrote to the younger Lorenzo, her brother's second son 
who was doing well in Peru, to announce his father's 
death — with all the comforts of religion, leaving his 
sons under great obligation to God for having blessed them 
with so good a father. (In this letter she announces also 
the engagement of Don Francisco, young Lorenzo's elder 
brother, to Doha Orofrisia de Mendoza y Castilla ; pretty, 
discreet, not yet fifteen, with a string of dukes and 
marquises for her cousins, and a managing mother, as the 
family had good cause to know a little later.) 


Teresa's correspondence with her sister Juana de 
Ahumada, if not quite so interesting as that with Lorenzo, 
yet tells us many details of her life and interests. She 
discusses her health, the severe dosings and bleedings 
which were the drastic prescriptions of the day ; repeats 
family news ; gives account of her struggles with house 
owners and lawyers and disappointed relatives of wealthy 

From Seville in 1575 she thus quaintly announces the Letter 
coming of Lorenzo and his party. " May the Holy Spirit ^^ 
be with you my friend, and allow you to enjoy your brothers, 
who, glory be to the Lord, are already at San Lucar. They 
have written here to the Canon Cueva y Castilla, that he 
may send the news to Seiior Juan de Ovalle and to me whom 
they suppose in Avila. How pleased they will be to find 
me in Seville ! But the joys of this life are always blended 
with grief ; so I must tell you that on their way, at Nombre 
de Dios, our brother the good Jeronimo de Cepeda died 
like a saint ; but Pedro de Ahumada, and Lorencio are 
both come ; and Lorencio's three boys and the little Teresa ; 
and in three days they will be here ! Please tell the Sefiora 
Dofia Mayor of the coming of Sefior Pedro de Ahumada, 
for I think he was very much her servant." Here there 
seems allusion to some romance or disappointment in poor 
Pedro's life, which may have been connected with his 
subsequent peevishness. 

In 1578 Teresa writes of the return of the younger Letter 
Lorenzo to Peru, and of some plot made by the boys them- ^°^ 
selves that he should be accompanied by his cousin 
Gonzalo, Juana's son. In these letters to her sister, 
Teresa is always most formal. She speaks of Juana's 
daughter, her own favourite niece, almost invariably as the 
" Senora Dona Beatriz," and of the sixteen year old boy 
as " Don Gonzalo." 


.etter In 1581 she writes from Palencia consoling Juana 
for her trials, connected no doubt with good Juan de 

.etter Ovalle's tiresome temper. A little later she begs her sister 
and Beatriz to get permission from him — who, by the way, 
does not seem himself to have borne the title Don — to 
come and see her at Segovia. This was the time when 
Beatriz, a lively clever girl who in after years took an 
important position among the Carmelites, had got into 
trouble ; an accident only too easy for the artificially 
secluded young Spanish ladies. It is not to be imagined 
she had done anything wrong ; it was disastrous for a 
correct young lady if a stranger so much as spoke to her. 
But tongues were wagging at Alba, and Beatriz herself 
was proud, defiant, very possibly in love. Her parents 
wished to treat the matter with the contempt it probably 
deserved. But Teresa, who was not entirely free from the 
religious person's vague terror of the world, was most 
anxious to get the girl away from home, away from gossip, 
away probably from some undesirable attraction. Teresa, 
enamoured of her own life, was a little too eager to put her 
nephew Francisco and this Beatriz into the religious habit. 
The young man refused the suggested career ; so for the 
present did Beatriz. But after Teresa's death her in- 
fluence became stronger with her niece. The girl took 
the desired step, and there is no reason to suppose she ever 
regretted it. 

Whether Juana and Beatriz paid the proposed visit to 
Segovia' — employment was to be found for Pedro in escort- 
ing them — I do not know. In November Teresa is writing 
direct to Juan de Ovalle about his daughter. 

Letter " To ignore this matter is not wise. The devil is not 

asleep, and if you don't take care, the remedy will come 

too late. She can't be in her parent's house for ever ; the 

position is really alarming and is killing me with anxiety. 



For tlic love of tlic Lord do be careful, and get the child 


A few days later she writes again, saying she is going Letter 

to Burgos. " I am thinking that if Dona Beatriz thinks ^^^ 

of becoming a nun, it would be a good plan to take her with 

me, and afterwards as I hope to Madrid. She can't help 

liking the convents, and she will be a foundress before she 

is professed ! But if she really doesn't care for the life, 

she can go home again. God knows I only desire her 

happiness ; and you also and my sister want to see her 


A fragment of a letter to Beatriz herself is of uncertain Letter 

date. " Your troubles, dear, are very different from mine. 

I have been comforted to hear you are settled in your 
uncle's house at Avila, and I am grateful to him and your 
aunt for their kindness to you. It's a great mercy of God 
that you are delivered from that terrible woman " (prob- 
ably the scandal-monger). 

The affair blew over ; and Beatriz de Jesus, when 
she was a renowned and saintly prioress at Toledo and 
elsewhere, doubtless looked back upon it with half con- 
temptuous marvel at her own emotions. 

Teresa's letters — though many and many are lost — 
fill a portly volume. Let us take a few extracts from her 
correspondence with the two dearest of her spiritual 
children, Maria de San Jose, and the young man, Gracian. 

The first preserved to us of those to the Prioress at 
Seville is from Malagon, describing her journey thither in 
1576 after she had been ordered out of Andalucia. 

" For love's sake," she says, " write to me whenever you Letter 
can that I may always know all about you. Commend ^^ 
me to all the sisters, especially to (sister) San Gabriel who 
was so silly at my going away. Tell me if our father 
(Gracian) has arrived yet. I charge you never to allow 


any one to take meals in your house, unless it be he, for 
necessity's sake. There is a difference between the 
Superior and others, and his health is of importance. 
And really it's very little we can do for him. But it's 
well all should know this rule, for your alms are small 
and you are not rich enough to feed others as well as 
yourselves. I don't want you to have any anxieties ; 
but greatly to serve the Lord." Teresa alludes several 
times to these undesirable hospitalities and writes to 
Gracian also about them. The enemies and the scandal- 
mongers were inclined to make capital out of them. 

Another letter clears up — jestingly — a little personal 

Letter " Yours has just come, and I was so much pleased that 

I was quite moved, and ready to forgive you all you have 

done or shall do. The worst complaint I had against you 

was that you didn't seem to care for my company ; and 

I see now it wasn't your fault. As I said to the mother 

prioress of Malagon, the Lord intends me to have troubles ; 

and as your society would have been a refreshment to me. 

He took it away ! Seriously, I am very fond of you ; and 

as I know your good will, it's childish to go over anything 

else, and your letter has put it all right." 

In September she writes with even more affection. 

Letter " Your letters are such a delight to me that I'm always 

longing for them ! I don't know why I have such great 

love for your house and all that is in it, unless it be that 
there I passed through such sore tribulation. Yes, we 
have had a great deal of trouble ; but as God has delivered 
us from that Tostado, we must have faith that He will 
bring it all right." 

In this letter are some remarks about the postal arrange- 
ments, never very efficient in Spain. " I must tell you that 
the chief post-officer here is a cousin of one of our nuns in 


'ri<JlESA'S LEn KllS 297 

Segovia. He came to sec mc and says he'll do marvels 
for us — his name is Figiicrcdo, We concerted that all 
letters from you should be directed to him, and in that 
case I shall receive them within eight days. Think what a 
wonder that will be ! The question is, ought we to address 
him as Magnifico ? or what ? " 

She goes on to discuss the finances of the Seville convent. 

" Don't forget to tell me about the Alcabala (tax on 
all sales). I see very well you are short of money. Con- 
sult our father about it and tell him how much you run 
short. I am surprised that the mother of Beatriz (de la 
Madre de Dios) has no more than 1500 ducats ; but she 
is one who if she brought nothing would still be great gain 
to us. I am glad to hear you have sold the garden produce, 
and those stockings. God helps those who help themselves." 

Again she writes about the tax on the sale of the house, 
which apparently had not been paid by the vendor, and 
in default had been demanded of the nuns. 

" As to a lawsuit, compromise would be much better ; Lettei 
don't forget that : our father wrote to me that an expert of 
the court had told him we hadn't a good case ; and even 
if we had, a lawsuit is a terrible thing. Don't forget this." 

In October she writes about the missing jewels. 

" You know I sent one trunk direct by a carrier, and Lettei 
whether this had anything to do with it or not I don't 
know, but Teresita's Agnus Dei and the two emerald 
rings have not turned up, and I can't remember where I 
put them, or even if they were brought to me at all. Do 
try and remember whether we had them in the house when 
we came in ; and ask Gabriela if she remembers where 
they were put, and pray to God they may be found." 

A little later she writes that to her great relief the Lette 
jewels have been discovered. Thank God, as she has 
been anxious enough about them ! 


One letter begins with the quaint remark : — " May the 
Grace of the H0I3/ Spirit be with your Reverence, my 
daughter, whose indisposition grieves me much. / don't 
know what's the matter ivith me that I can't care so much 
about the complaints of the prioresses here ! " 

In this letter Teresa mentions Lorenzo's purchase of 
La Serna and the price he had paid for it, 14,000 ducats. 
She also speaks of Gracian's little sister Isabelita, who is 
being brought up in the convent at Toledo, and who 
afterwards took the habit and the name Isabel de Jesus 

" She is a marvel ; prettier even than Teresita, and 
wonderfully clever — a real delight to me." 

The prioress at Malagon, who was always complaining of 
her health, was clearly not a favourite. Teresa tells of 
the curious system of mortification which she had intro- 

etter " She would give one of the sisters a blow bidding her 

pass it on to the next, and she to the next, and so on. This 

must be an invention of the demonio, putting the souls in 

strong temptation to offend God. On no account do 

you consent to such extravagances as I saw among the 

nuns at Malagon ; for nuns are not slaves, nor should 

there be mortification except with clear idea of profit. 

I tell you, daughter, one has to look very sharply after 

these little prioresses. I have begun to discover things 

they do to their nuns, which to me are very distressing." 

.etter Maria de San Jose was something of a blue-stocking, 


and Teresa teazes her a little about it. " Your letter to 
Father Mariano was all right except for the Latin you 
dragged in. May God deliver all my daughters from 
presumption about Latin. Simplicity — that's the thing for 

She describes some extraordinarily rough frieze they 


have got for new habits, and exclaims in lier laugliing 

" Now I'm a real nun ! Pray God I may persevere ! " 

Many letters refer to the finances, to the debt owing to 
Lorenzo by the convent, to the accurate accounts kept 
by the sub-prioress " who would make entry even of the 
water drops " ; of course much to the disputes in the 
Order ; much also to health and the best remedies in 
sickness, showing that Teresa was not above the womanly 
foible for doctoring. Many expressions of affection come 

" I should be delighted to see you, especially at this Letter 
moment. I think we were very great friends. There are 
few with whom I care to discuss these high spiritual 
matters, so I am greatly pleased when you write that you 
have understood me." 

In June she speaks very kindly about a slave who had Letter 
been serving the convent at Seville, and who having now ^^ 
been enfranchised, had no place to go, and wanted to 
belong to the sisterhood. 

" As for that poor little slave, on no account refuse to 
receive her. In the early days of our houses, there are 
many things to be done outside the usual routine ; and it's 
not a case of expecting her to attain perfection, but only 
to serve well. A lay-sister is not required to seek per- 
fection, and she need never be even professed if she proves 
unsuitable. Her sister I like less ; still, receive her too and 
God will make it turn out as He will. Don't expect too 
much of either ; the essentials are all we need consider, and 
we owe that poor girl a great deal. The two of them 
are now in a sad position ; as for ourselves we must put 
up with annoyances." 

It is interesting to know that the nuns kept a slave, 
and that freedom was apparently not an unmixed boon. 


The girls were almost certainly foreigners — probably 
coloured. There were more persons of this class in 
Seville than in any other town. 

:.etter A most interesting letter, too long to quote, is that of 
October 1577 in which Teresa gives an account of the elec- 
tion at the Encarnacion, when fifty-five of the nuns voted 
for her to be prioress and consequently were excommuni- 
cated and deprived of their confessors. Fray German and 
Fray Juan de la Cruz. Teresa describes the behaviour of 
the Provincial who had come to hold the election. At every 
vote cast for her he raged and swore, he thumped his fist 
on the voting papers, tore, and burned them. Other letters 
give the subsequent history of the affair, which was the 
occasion of Teresa's correspondence with the king. 

.etter A letter of 1578 gives reasons for refusing certain highly 


recommended postulants. One she says is too young. " At 
thirteen many changes of mind are probable." She goes 
on to object to the nuns writing down their spiritual 

" It damages the soul's liberty. Besides they are 
tempted to fancy a good deal of it ; " — wise hints for all 
writers of diaries. She makes another hit at Maria de 
San Jose's pedantry. " That's very fine what you say 
about Elisha. But I'm not so learned as you, and I don't 
know what the Assyrians are." This sentence has be- 
come a proverb in Spain. Co7no no soy ya tan letrera 
como ella, no se que son los asirios. 
Letter The letter of June 1578, gives some amusing details. 
^ " Yours was so long delayed on the road that I'm quite 
cross. All you sent has come safe, including the water. 
It is excellent ; but now we don't need more of it. I Hke 
the jugs you chose ; enough of them also. Now that 
I'm better I must do without luxuries. Pray don't 
imagine / intend to eat all that jam. I really don't care 



for it so much myself, but the love of giving is what I 
shall never overcome. You have explained the stove 
so well that I don't think there can be any mistake. It is 
already being constructed ; and the nuns here are astounded 
by your cleverness, and thank you very, very mucli." 

(This economical cooking stove was invented by Maria 
de San Jos6 ; and in April Teresa had written to Gracian 
for special permission that her brother Lorenzo should 
go into the Convent at Seville to inspect and report upon it ; 
" as it promised to be a treasure for monks and nuns.") 

It was in 1578 that Sega, the Nuncio, deposed the 
prioress of Seville whom he considered at the least a 
fomenter of strife. Next year when the troubles were 
drawing to a close. Angel de Salazar, now Vicar-General, 
wished to reinstate her. Maria was proud, and not 
.inclined to accept reappointment. Teresa writes — 

" My daughter, have done with this pursuit of a stupid Letter 
perfection as I suppose you call this modesty. Here we ^'^^ 
are, all wishing for your appointment and expecting it ; 
and you with this childishness ! For really it's nothing 
else. It is not only your Reverence's concern, it's the 
concern of the whole Order, and greatly for the service 
of God, and for the honour of the convent and the honour 
of our father Gracian. Even if your Reverence had no 
gifts for the office, nothing else could at present be suitable ; 
moreover, as says the proverb,.4 falta de hombres buenos,eic.^ 
Seriously, if God does favour us in this, your Reverence 
must submit, and obey without a word. You see I am fast 
getting angry ! It is enough if we know the appointment 
is not of your own seeking ; and truly it is unnecessary 
to explain that such office is a heavy >J< " 

This letter is followed in Fuente's edition by a pretty 

^ The proverb, A falta de buenos mi marido alcalde; — As there are no 
good men, let my husband be mayor. 


little fragment, written apparently about this date 
(summer 1579). 

etter " J am filled, daughter, with shame and confusion to 

read what great things those gentlemen have said of us, 

and it lays us under a great obligation to be what they 

have painted us, that we may not make them into liars." 

A month later Teresa writes congratulating Maria de 

San Jose on her resumption of office. 

etter " Much as I loved you before, I now love you so much 

I am quite frightened ! I'd give anything to see and 

embrace my dear daughter. This appointment was 

needed to finish the quieting of souls. You yourself must 

have patience. As the Lord has given you such desire 

to serve Him, be joyful that you are placed in so trying 

a post. Were we to choose our own form of suffering 

for the Lord, it wouldn't be following our Master, who 

at the time of His grief ended His cry with the words, 

" Not My will but Thine be done." 

Early in 1580 Teresa had occasion to write one or two 
letters of caution, almost of reproof, to this beloved Maria 
de San Jose. Nicolas Doria, who disliked the prioress of 
Seville, seems to have been reporting her faults ; and we 
have already suspected that Teresa, not exempt from the 
infirmities of age and weakness, became at the last a little 
captious. It is probable of course that her complaints 
were justified ; that reaction was already damaging her 
work. No enthusiast finds in his disciples the same 
endurance of fire as burns in his own breast. Moreover, 
the greater minds smong the disciples, as they develop, get 
a little different from the mind of the master, and are unable 
to be mere copies of him. And the master — grown old — is 
not able to approve or even to understand the variation. 

Teresa's reproofs to her best beloved and most trusted, 
to Maria Bautista, Maria de San Jose, Ana de Jesus, 


women in their prime, singularly capable and saintly 
who, after her death, were most faithful to her institutions 
and her spirit, are certainly severe. They are expressed 
in language so clear, so courteous, so vigorous, that one 
can detect in them little evidence of age, still less of failing. 
We can only hope that she had not fully understood 
what the prioresses had done, nor their reasons for doing 
it. We have few or none of their answers, which may or 
may not have stilled the anxieties of the aged saint. 

Teresa writes thus to Maria de San Jose — 

" Your letter has come, so good and humble that it Lettei 
merits a long reply. I am so grateful for all you did in 
the times of our necessity, that you have no need to remind 
me of it. You have had great trials ; I wish I had not to 
add to them. Your Reverence must forgive me, for I am 
quite intolerable with those I love, wishing them never to 
make one mistake. I am more disturbed by the faults 
in this house (Malagon), — to the mother prioress of which 
I wrote terrible letters (without I confess gaining much by 
them), than I am by the faults in yours. For here the 
mischief goes on longer. On the other hand, outside 
scandal is more damaging to your house, and I know 
not if it can be got over. Really, I think not ; even 
though things may improve within. Here I am chiefly 
vexed with Beatriz de Jesus ^ who never told me a word of 
what was going on. I suppose she thought that friend- 
ship ! I tell you it is not. True friendship would never 
hide ills which are capable of remedy. Remember this. 
For the love of God, let your Reverence never do anything 
which if known would provoke scandal. Have done with 
these good intentions which cost so dear ! May it never 
be mentioned to anybody, not even to our Discalced 

^ Not Beatriz de Jesus, Teresa's niece, who was not yet a Carmelite, 
but the daughter of a cousin, and at this time sub-prioress at Malagon. 


fathers, that you allowed that Jesuit father to have a 
meal in the convent. It's the kind of thing which if 
known would make a noise ; at any rate among them." 

Teresa goes on to mention various things which have 
displeased her of which we are not now able to estimate 
the importance. She herself is conscious that the com- 
plaints appear trivial. " Oh my God ! the silly things 
which go forth in this letter ! But they have to do with 
the one great end ! May the Lord give us light ; for 
without it there is no possibility of virtue, nor is there 
cleverness except for evil." 

Maria seems to have replied meekly, for the next letter 
is milder, though the complaints continue. 
:.etter " I don't know why, but in spite of the annoyance 
^7^ your Reverence causes me, I can't help being very fond 
of you, and the convent being the one which has suffered 
the greatest tribulation is the one I love best. The more 
I love you the less I can bear the smallest fault. I see 
that is foolish, and that by erring one arrives at experience ; 
but if the scar is deep the fur never grows over it, so you 
must walk warily." 

Before 1582, however, the complaining has ceased, and 
Teresa is writing to her favourite daughter with the old 
Letter The last letter is dated 14th July from Burgos. It 
^^^ tells that the young niece, Teresita, has ended her year's 
noviciate, and is about to make her profession. " Pray 
for her, all of you ! " says the dying aunt — " She is so 
young and so pretty ! " 

She sends greeting to many of the nuns by name, and 
ends, " I should like to write to them all if I could, but 
my health does not improve. I am not worse than usual ; 
but my head is tired, and I daren't work too hard at these 
letters, as I have other not-to-be-neglected things to do. 



May God be praised, and give His grace always to your 
Reverence. Amen." 

The voluminous correspondence with Gracian does 
its best to be business-like, sometimes almost dry ; to 
have fewer of the little humorous and characteristic 
touches which bring the writer and her friends so vividly 
before us. Still Teresa is not able to prevent her solici- 
tude and tenderness making themselves felt for one so 
dearly loved. She will not allow herself to be senti- 
mental ; but just occasionally cannot refrain from a 
directly affectionate word. 

The letters refer chiefly to the long wars with the 
Carmelites of the Mitigation, and afterwards to the con- 
stitution and the arrangement of the new Province of the 
Discalced. Teresa considered Gracian the only man 
among her friars fit to govern. In his gentleness — which 
to the more fiery spirits seemed weakness, she saw that 
power of conciliation which could alone bring order out of 
chaos. True she valued Nicolas Doria also, and more 
than once expressed the wish that the two men could be 
rolled into one. But at any rate in the beginning all her 
hopes centred on Jeronimo de la Madre de Dios. 

The first letter to him, written in 1575 from Seville, 
Gracian being away on a visitation, is chiefly interesting 
in its picture of the child Teresita just arrived from South 
America, and already anxious to be a nun. " I think it Lettei 
must please God that this little soul is not to be brought ^ 
up for the world," says the loving aunt. 

In the next letter she combats an idea Gracian has 
taken up as to the advantage in moving the nuns from 
one convent to another. 

" I think I understand women better than does your Lettei 
Paternity," she says. " Believe me, it is not advisable to 
take any, whether prioress or subject, from her convent, 


unless for a new foundation. Often I have wished the 
foundations concluded, so that each nun might be fixed in 
her own place. Even if it's a question of health — it is better 
one or two should die, rather than all should receive harm." 

At the end of this letter is some amusing condolence 
and advice. " I am much distressed by those falls, and 
think you ought to be tied on to your saddle. What sort 
of a donkey can you have had ? And why must your 
Paternity go ten leagues in one day ? On that pack- 
saddle [alharda) it's enough to kill you. I hope you have 
put on more clothes as the weather is getting cold. Pray 
God you have not already suffered. In your care for 
the profit of souls, consider what harm your bad health 
would cause to many ! For the love of God, look after it ! " 

An entertaining letter describes her journey from 
Seville to Malagon when she travelled in luxury with her 
brother's party, the child Teresita amusing them all with 
her prattle. 
Letter " Oh, my father ! what an adventure befell me ! reposing 
"^^ on the straw of a threshing floor, near a tavern which we 
dared not enter, a great salamander or lizard ran up my 
arm under my tunic ! My brother caught it and dragged 
it forth, and hit Antonio Ruiz with it." 

At the end of this letter, she urges on Gracian as she 
had urged on Maria de San Jose, the inadvisabihty of the 
nuns entertaining any one at meals in the convent, unless 
himself, on occasions of necessity. For one thing, they 
are too poor to afford such hospitality. Besides, things 
go on as they begin, and that were a beginning which might 
come to harm or lead to scandal — so it's very important ; 
and will his Paternity kindly counsel them in this matter. 
They are all quite young ; and it's much the best they 
should have nothing to say to the friars. It's all on a 
footing of now ; but she foresees how it may 


end if this freedom is not checked at once. " Forgive me, 
my Father ! " she ends earnestly. 

This was certainly a broad hint to Gracian ; it is to be 
feared that strong in his own rectitude he did not take it, 
and his too frequent presence at the convent table was 
one cause of the reproaches levelled at him and at Maria 
de San Jos6. 

Letter 82 from Toledo with the account of how she Letter 
changed her confessor is a good example of Teresa's use 
of pseudonyms ; it tells also how she believed herself in- 
spired by Christ, yet would not act directly on inspiration 
lest she be deceived, but must first take counsel with a 
letrado, in this instance Caspar de Salazar, the Jesuit ; 
how she found the new confessor. Doctor Velasquez (after- 
wards Bishop of Osma near vSoria), more helpful to her soul 
than any one she had met since Pablo (Gracian himself). 

In connection with the accusations brought in later 
years against Gracian by Doria and others, it is well to 
remember the high opinion of his spiritual gifts and influ- 
ence entertained by the wise, holy, and experienced Teresa. 

A characteristic letter written to this man when he was 
in the thick of the persecution may be given almost entire. 

" I have been reading the history of Moses, and the Letter 

8 ? 

plagues which came upon that king and all the kingdom, • 
yet never struck Moses himself. And I wondered and 
rejoiced to see how when the Lord wills it not, nothing can 
have the power to harm ; and I liked to think of that 
saint in those conflicts by the command of God. And now 
I rejoice to see my Eliseo (Gracian) in the same. I offered 
him again to God. And I remembered all the mercies 
given to me ; and how Josef (Jesus Christ) has spoken to 
me ; and that there is much more to be gone through, even 
a thousand dangers, for the glory and the honour of God. 
In these and in such trials our life shall pass." 


Presently we have an interesting account of a visit 
from Gracian's mother, Doiia Juana de Antisco. 
Letter " She has been here (Toledo) three days. I have seen 
^"^ few if any like her. Her parts are of the best which God 
has made ; her simphcity, her sincerity which puts me to 
shame, make her excel even her son. We knew each other 
in a moment as if we had been friends all our lives. She 
stayed comfortably at an inn close by kept by a widow 
with women servants, and we cooked her meals here, — by 
your leave something better than convent fare. Your 
Paternity's suggestion that I should raise my veil for her 
amused me. You don't know me. Why, I would have 
opened my very heart to her ! Till the last day her 
daughter was with her. I thought her very pretty and 
was sorry to see her go to join those young ladies at the 
College. 1 I wished I might give her our habit, along with 
that little angel, Isabelita, her sister, than whom no one 
could be plumper or prettier. Periquito hardly knew the 
child. Oh, what a pretty boy Tomas is ! They came 
here too. When Doiia Juana saw the happiness and the 
bearing of every one here she determined to try and send 
her daughter the Seriora Doiia Maria to (us at) Valladolid, 
and regretted that she had arranged otherwise for the 
Seiiora Dona Adriana. She seems pleased with everything, 
and I don't think she's a flatterer. Yesterday she wrote 
me a charming letter with a thousand words of love ; 
and to-day I wrote to her telling her the news of 
your Paternity. I should like to have sent hers to you, but 
I am sorry I tore it up with a number of others. 
These last few days the number I have received is 

The half -jesting, half -pathetic remark which follows 

^ The Colegio de Doncellas Nobles, founded by Cardinal Siliceo — stil 
at Toledo. 


is one of the few direct expressions of affection which 
Teresa allows herself for Gracian. 

" Considering vvliich of the two loves your Paternity 
best, I bethought me that the Seiiora Dona Juana has a 
husband and other sons to love, while the poor Lorencia 
(herself) has nothing in the world but that father. May 
God guard him ! Amen." 

The rest of this letter is taken up with advice about the 
approaching Chapter and the embassy to Rome. 

" Work all you possibly can for a separate Province, 
as this war is intolerable. It is shocking to have to dis- 
please our superiors." 

A letter dated 19th November 1576, is interesting, 
suggesting what line Teresa would have taken in the 
turmoil after her death when Doria tried to introduce 
that " fury of regulations " which was opposed by Gracian, 
by Maria de San Jose, and Ana de Jesus. 

" Now I see how tiresome are the rules which Padre Letter 
Juan de Jesus (Roca) has already made, and which seem ^^^ 
to me to undo for no reason the constitutions of your 
Paternity. This is precisely what I fear for my nuns, 
that severe superiors will come and oppress and burden 
them. It's extraordinary that a visitation always ends 
in rules ! No recreation the day they communicate ! 
The next thing will be no recreation at all. If the priests 
don't observe this themselves, why should these poor 
girls ? Merely to read these rules wearied me — what 
would it be to observe them ? Believe me, our Rule is 
severe enough and we have no room for oppressive persons." 

The next letter is one of delicate expostulation. 

" Time will cure your Paternity of a little of your Letter 
simplicity, which I admit to be saintly. But the devil 
won't allow us all to be saints, and those weak and 
malicious like me would like to put a stop to temptations. 


Nor are all superiors like my father, that so much gentle- 
ness should be permitted to them. God has given this 
treasure to you to keep, and I am more afraid of men 
stealing it than of devils. . . . Since I have had daughters, 
I have felt how necessary it is for me to walk circum- 
spectly lest I should put temptation in their way. For 
what they see me, a woman of age and experience of 
mankind, say and do, they might think permissible for 
them. Am I a bore ? But don't be bored by listening 
to these things ; for your Paternity and I are charged 
with a great charge, and have to give account to God 
and to the world ; and you will pardon me because I 
speak only in love." 

Occasionally the fundamental spirituality shows more 
clearly. "Is it not wonderful that Pablo (Gracian) in 
the midst of his many occupations can have such refresh- 
ment with Josef (Jesus Christ) ? In the interior matters 
of the spirit the most certain, the most acceptable are 
those which leave the best results. I do not say the 
greatest desires ; by results I mean desires confirmed by 
works ; desires for the honour of God, showing themselves 
by continual looking out for that honour, and using the 
memory and the understanding in seeking to please Him. 
Ah, that is true prayer ! I would have none other ! If it 
should come with great temptations and drynesses, and 
tribulations, and these things left me more humble, that 
I should think good prayer ; for the more there is pleasing 
to God the more it is prayer." 

The next letter deals with the false accusations. 

.etter <> ^g ^^j. ^t^^^ „jj.i qj. j-^ther woman, I don't consider it 
128 t> ' » 

so much melancholy as possession by the devil which 
makes her speak these lies. You must observe great cau- 
tion. On no account go to her house. . . . You had better 
not appear in the matter at all, but leave others to win 



that poor soul. ... It seems to me that her letter is 
matter for the Inquisition ; if there is reason to denounce 
her, let it be done. For if afterwards the matter gets to 
the pubhc, and it is said that you knew it, and kept it 
secret, you will be greatly blamed." 

With regard to the misguided second Chapter at 
Almod6var, which proved so exasperating to Sega, Teresa 
writes — 

"I do not wish your Paternity to do anything of Lette 


which any one could say it was wrong ; for this, even 
if it turned out well would distress me more than 
all the things which might go against us without our 

She gives her opinion strongly against the proposed 
usurpations. The Province can be made only by the 
General or the Pope ; an election among themselves 
could have no value, and it would be more difficult for 
the Pope to confirm it, than to give the licence as a gift. 
An action of this sort would give colour to the accusation 
that they were disobedient to their superiors. She advises 
appeal to the king for assistance, and the despatch of 
ambassadors to Rome. 

" But what nonsense to write all this to your Paternity ! 
Yet you will bear it from me. I tell you I feel quite 
undone that I haven't the liberty to be able to do the 
things I say ought to be done ! " 

This seems for once a little impatience with her sex. To 
be only a mujercilla, when she felt capable of guiding and 
governing all these hot-headed stupid friars ! 

This letter was sent by Lorenzo on the occasion when 
he went to Seville to inspect Maria de San Jose's cooking- 
stove. Evidently Teresa had not entire confidence in 
her brother as a postman, for two days later she wrote 
again by another messenger repeating her advice. 


After a month, she writes describing the operation 

on her arm performed by the lady surgeon. 

.etter "They tell me I am cured; but as yet, on account of 

the pain, I am not able to see if this be so or not." And 

she adds, " It seems to me that sometimes the body gets 

tired ; when one sickness follows on top of another, there 

comes a sort of cowardice in the soul, though the will 

remains good." 

At last we have a merry letter in which, the conclusion 
of the troubles being in sight, Teresa rejoices at the 
appointment of Angel de Salazar as Vicar-General, 
.etter " J pray God he may enjoy his office but a little time. 
I don't mean that I wish his death, for he is really the 
best of them all, and will be very good to us. But, of 
course, no one can be better than the Sefior Nuncio for 
persons studying perfection, as with his worrying he has 
made us all lay up a great deal of merit ! " 

Soon afterwards she writes her commendation of 


^etter " Father Nicolas was with me in Avila for three or 

four days. I am glad to think your Paternity has now 

some one with whom he can consult about the affairs of 

the Order, as I have been distressed to see you so solitary. 

Certainly Father Nicolas seems shrewd and of good counsel 

and a servant of God, though he hasn't that grace and 

conciliatory charm which God has given to Pablo. It is 

rare to find all qualities in one ; but certainly he's 

substantial, and very humble and penitent, and fixed in 

the truth, and with a power of gaining people's wills. 

And he knows the worth of Pablo and is determined to 

follow him well. It will be to our advantage to have 

them of one mind, and to me a great relief. Wherefore, 

my father, don't let your Paternity be stiff with him." 

The next letter contains another gentle reproof to Pablo. 


" I want to (I'll yon of a temptation which came to Letter 

me yesterday, and still lasts with regard to Eliseo (Gracian) ; ^'*' 

name!}', that it seems to me sometimes when he is not 

careful he does not speak quite the whole truth about 

everything. I see it's only in unimportant matters ; but 

I should Hke him to take great care about this. For 

cliarity's sake, I beseech your Paternity very much. I 

don't think there can be entire perfection where there is 

this snare. See how I intrude ! as if you had no other 

anxieties ! I pray your Paternity to commend me very 

much to God, for truly I have great need of it." 

Letter 266 is about the reception of a httle girl in Letter 

the convent of Alba. " About the same age as my 

Tsabelita " (Gracian's little sister). Teresa says she would 

like to have one — not more — of these little angels in each 

of the convents, as they give great edification as well 

as amusement. 

Teresa is as anxious about Gracian's health as about 

Lorenzo's, and writes in grandmotherly style — 

" I tell you, my father, you ought to sleep more. For 

the love of God, stop your planning which you say you 

indulge in at night, however necessary it may be. The 

demonio sometimes makes things seem of great importance, 

because when there is great fervour of spirit he can't get 

in at the front entrance and so must attack the back one. 

Great are the blessings which the Lord gives in sleep, and 

I don't wonder the devil tries to put you off it." 

Again — " I'm afraid that the little mule is not the right Letter 

one for your Paternity. It would be better to buy a good 

one. I'm only afraid you'll buy something which may 

throw my father ; and the present beast being small, 

falls are less dangerous. Nor do I approve of your riding 

a baggage donkey. Think over what is best, and don't 

be so timid, for that is what makes me so anxious." 


(It was afterwards made a reproach against Gracian 
that he travelled on a good mount while Doria went on a 
screw. It seems to have been by Teresa's advice, the 
difficulty being to find any animal upon which he could 
keep his seat.) 

In this letter Teresa takes Gracian's advice about her 
troublesome brother Pedro, who by an unfortunate accident 
in Lorenzo's will had been made guardian of the younger 

Then we have letters about the election of the new 
Provincial. Teresa hopes it will be Gracian and would 
like him to have Doria for his assistant. 
Letter " It is most important, especially for the start, that you 
should work together. On all matters his is a good opinion, 
and after all your Reverence has suffered from others, 
he will be glad to have one who wiU not make him suffer." 

Yet Gracian suffered much from Doria. Was Teresa 
trying to forestall this, knowing in her heart how likely 
they would be to quarrel ? Or for once did her per- 
spicacity fail her, so that she really thought these two 
men so radically different could pull together ? 

Several letters follow, mentioning points Teresa wished 
specially brought before the Council of Alcala. They relate 
chiefly to the nuns, and are aimed at securing them spiritual 
liberty. These letters show that the changes introduced 
later by Doria, the tendency of which was to diminish the 
authority of the prioresses, and to subject the nuns to 
interference from the masculine heads of the Order, was 
quite contrary to Teresa's ideal. Doria was not able to 
adduce any words of Teresa's spoken or written during 
her life as his inspiration ; he had to rely on exhortations 
received, apparently from her, in visions after her death, 
chiefly by Catalina de Jesus. 

After a joyful letter congratulating Gracian on his 



appointment to the office of Provinical, the remaining 
correspondence with him deals almost exclusively with 
details and is hardly of the same interest as its earlier 

He was much with her in the last few months of her Letter 
life, though — doubtless to her disappointment — he was 
far away when she died. Her last letter to him was written 
on the 1st of September 1582 from Valladolid, at the time 
when she was being worried if not insulted by her family, 
and even by Maria Bautista. The letter is not in good 
spirits ; many things are frightening and oppressing 
her, and she feels Gracian's absence and cannot bear his 
being in that almost foreign land of Andalucia. And Fray 
Nicolas (Doria), and Fray Juan de las Cuevas too, have 
been teazing her with complaints of Gracian ; and Fray 
Antonio is touchy ; and the prioress at Salamanca seems 
quite off her head, and is intent upon buying a house 
much too big and too expensive, about which Teresa has 
already remonstrated. However, the scolding she wrote 
to the nuns of Alba has done some good ; and she intends to 
go there. But, if God will, she hopes to reach Avila by 
the end of the month, as she doesn't want to drag the 
child (Teresita) hither and thither any longer. 

" Oh, my father ! how cast down I have felt these Letter 
days ! But now I have learned that your Reverence '^^ 
is well, I am better. Pray God I improve further. Com- 
mend me to the mother prioress and to all the sisters. 
I am glad they are in health ; and I pray them much not 
to worry your Reverence but to be very kind to you. 
Give my greetings to Father Fray Juan de la Cruz. Maria 
de San Bartolome greets your Reverence. May the Lord 
be your Guard, and deliver you from all dangers, that is 
my supplication. Amen. — Your Reverence's servant and 
subject, Teresa de Jesus " 




There are many other interesting letters of Saint 
Teresa's but space will not permit us to go into them. 
She wrote several times to Philip 11 and impressed him 
deeply. She wrgte^o bishops and royal councillors, and 
t|ieologianSy— aad__great_ ladies; to siiaplepeople who^ 
were in pei=plexity OT_si2ripw^tointenJin^_j^^ 
parent s^ or g uardians, tojawyers and landlords wEajnade" 
Qifficultie s^ or w anted her money. It is rare for her to 

inaKeS air^ 

. betraylauyinterest in 

occasional cuTaTlhe Lutherans, and in a letter to Maria 
Bautista is an' allusion to Don John of Austria ^ — 
Letter " Commend much to God Don Juan de Austria 
who has gone to Flanders (to be Governor) disguised as a 
gentleman's servant." 

Otherwise, the din of battle, the coming and going of 
ships, the marriages, deaths, and succession of kings and 
princes, the triumphs of art, made no stir within her 
cloister walls. 

I find no mention of the sea — very likely she had never 
seen it, which to us island folk seems unnatural and sad. 
She never, so far as we know, petted an animal or caged a 
bird. She does not seem to have loved the poor merely as 
poor. But she delighted in flowers and hills, the disj^nt 

line of the mountains, the. sound of water. She loved 

^ children. .There is no question at all about that. Casilda, 
Teresita, Isabelita, live in her pages. Nay, there is great 
tenderness in a few remarks about a Httle page-boy ; 
and again about the son of the boatman who nearly 
drowned her in the Guadalquivir, As for the nuns, 
she knew them each individually, and seems never to 
have treated them as a crowd. No doubt it was one of 
the secrets of her influence. She understood everybody 

^ See also Letter 247 to the Archbishop of Ebora about the war in 


because she loved everybody, not as an abstraction, not 
as a type, but as a character and a person. 

Let us end with one of her tender letters of consola- 
tion. It was written late in 1576 to her nephew Diego de 
Guzman y Cepeda, whose wife lay on her death-bed. 

" The grace of the Holy Spirit be with you, and give Letter 
you that comfort which you need in so great a loss as it 
must seem to us. But the Lord whose doing it is, and 
who loves us more than we love ourselves, will make us 
in time to understand that this is the very best that can 
happen to her and to all those who love her. 

"You are not to think your life will be long, for all is 
short which has so swift an end ; let your solitude be to 
you a memory and an incentive ; put it all in the hands 
of God who will do all that is best. A great consolation it 
is to see a death which brings with it so great a certainty 
of everlasting life. And believe, that if now the Lord 
shall take her away, it is that, standing in the presence of 
God, she may do greater things for you and for her children. 
May His Majesty hear us, for I commend you earnestly 
to Him ; and may He give you conformity with all which 
He shall do, and light that you may understand how 
short are the afflictions and the troubles of this life." 



Teresa's last illness and death 

HER work completed at Burgos, Teresa wished to 
return to Avila. But Antonio de Jesus, her superior 
for the time being, ordered her to Alba de Tormes 
at the instance of the duchess, who was in trouble and 
wanted her. Teresa, old, infirm, worn-out — dying — had 
to go. 

Antonio came to escort her, and the duchess sent a 
carriage, but neither of them remembered a basket of 
lunch. At Peharranda Teresa was faint with hunger, 
and the weeping Ana de San Bartolome could procure 
nothing for love or money but a couple of dried figs, and 
at the next village, worse still, nothing but onions. 

" Don't cry," said the dying woman, " the figs are 
very nice, and many of the Lord's poor ones have nothing 
better. It is His will." 

When they arrived at Alba, there was no going to the 
duchess. Teresa was far too ill, and Antonio took her to 
the convent. 

" Oh, my God, daughters ! " she exclaimed, as they 
put her to bed, for here at least they were kind, " how 
tired I feel ! For twenty years I have not been so tired, 
nor have gone to bed so early as I must this day. Thank 
God that it is among you I have fallen sick." 

But the indomitable spirit was not yet crushed, and 


THE END 319 

next morning she was up early, attending Mass, and then 
inspecting the convent. 

For a week she kept about ; but on 29th September, 
Saint Michael's Day, had to confess herself beaten and 
to take to her bed. 

The doctors shook their heads. She herself knew she 
had reached her journey's end. When Antonio would 
have prayed for her restoration, she said. No, her life was 
of no more need. 

They moved her to an upper room for the fresh air 
and the view. But it was cold, and they brought her 
down again. They did all they could for her, and the 
doctors tried their nostrums ; but nothing made any 
difference. Her time had come. 

The duchess came to see her, and when Teresa apolo- 
gized for the sickening smell of the medicines, said in 
jurprise that she was conscious of nothing but a rare sweet 
scent ; truly the Olor Sanctorum which was as a glory to 
he dying body. 

The nuns surrounded her with every care and she 
;poke to them of God, and of holiness and faith ; and she 
jave them her blessing. She received the Viaticum and 
ixtreme Unction. 

" Oh, my Lord ! " she said, " my Lord, and my Bride- 
groom, the longed-for hour has come, the hour in which 

shall see Thee ! Lord, now is the time to arise and go ! 

he good time which I welcome, which is Thy will ; the 
lour when I must leave my exile, and my soul shall enjoy 
he fulfilment of all her desire ! " 

And again she said — 

" I thank thee. Lord, that I die a child of Holy Church." 

For fourteen hours she lay unconscious; and as she 
Irew her last breath, Catalina de la Concepcion, who was 
y her side, saw the room astir with a great multitude in 


shining robes, come down to welcome her to heaven ; and 
was aware, too, of the presence of the Lord. And Ana de 
Jesus, the blundering and blamed yet devoted prioress far 
away at Granada, herself lying ill and believed to be 
dying, looked up, and saw Teresa the great Mother standing 
by her side, her countenance bright with the glory of that 
city which needs not the sun, and of the Lamb who is the 
light thereof. 

In that vision seen by Ana de Jesus I find more beauty 
than in the biographers' detailed accounts of Teresa's last 
contritions and self-abasement. I fancy that as she went 
down into the Valley of the Great Shadow, she was troubled 
by the recollection of her sharpness to one who perhaps 
was doing her best, to one who proved the greatest of her 
daughters. And she longed to be with her for a moment 
to breathe with her the air of mutual forgiveness and of 
love. The wish was granted. 




TERESA died 4th October 1582. After her death 
many strange things happened, which made men 
think she was one of the saints. I doubt she herself 
would have acknowledged them. These matters belong to 
legendary lore, and for some of us have no great interest. 
Truly she was a saint ; but her best claim to that high 
estate is not in posthumous miracles, but in her long and 
well-spent life, in the accepted sacrifice of her work for God. 
Extremes meet, and Teresa's children and her friends, 
in their zeal to do her honour, seem to us moderns to have 
treated her poor body with strange irreverence. She 
was buried hastily in the convent at Alba, where she had 
died. Nine months later, in Gracian's presence, her body 
was exhumed, and found to be uncorrupted. He cut off 
her hand, and she was restored to her tomb. Two years 
passed ; then, by command of the Chapter of the Order, 
at the instance of Gracian (no longer Provincial), who had 
promised to see her and Don Alvaro, the Bishop of Palencia, 
both buried at San Jose of Avila, her body was again 
exhumed, and secretly taken to her native town. The fact 
was soon discovered ; the Provincial, Nicolas Doria, 
Gracian's enemy, procured an Order from Rome to have 
the corpse restored to Alba ; there it was exhibited 
in the Convent Church, Ribera being one of those who 


saw it. All of which is related at great length, and with 
many strange and, to my thinking, slightly repulsive details, 
by the biographers, and can be read in their histories by 
the curious. 

In 1598, the body was again moved from the hole in 
the church wall where it had been interred, and was given 
a more imposing sepulchre beside the high altar. It was 
again exhumed in 1603, again in 1616, and again in 1750. 
In 1760 the tomb was rebuilt with more magnificence : 
the poor body was again exhibited ; finally, robed in 
splendours and laid in a silver coffin, it was placed in the 
chapel above the altar which had been built for its recep- 
tion. And to-day, slowly, a big and costly basilica is 
building in quiet little Alba ; and I understand that the 
mortal remains of the great Mother — the lover of simplicity 
and poverty, — are eventually to be laid there. R.I. P. 

In 1614, following the suggestion made in 1595 by 
Philip II, Teresa was beatified by Paul v ; the news of 
this mark of respect was carried to Spain, and to the 
Carmelites, by another Doria, Admiral of the Genoese 
fleet. The honour to the beloved Mother, was celebrated 
with general rejoicing, with feasts, jousts, bull fights, 
processions, and bonfires. At Alba and at Salamanca she 
was chosen patron saint, and Salamanca made her a 
Doctor of the University.^ In 1617 the Cortes voted her 
Patroness of all Spain ; but the vote was not confirmed, 
many persons objecting to the supersession of Santiago. 

Five years later, Teresa was publicly canonized at 
Rome, together with her countrymen, Isidor the plough- 
man, and Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier, the Jesuits. 

Finally, in 1732, Benedict xiii instituted the Feast of 

^ She was also pronounced a Doctor of the Church, by the Tribunal of 
the Rota. Hence she is called " the Seraphic Doctor." 


the Tninsvcrbcnition of her Heart : a perpetual memento 
that it is the " Lord God who maketh saints and crowncth 
them ; that the works at which men marvel. Lord, are 
Thy gifts, the truth, no matter whence it comes, is Thine." ^ 

'J^licTii -i&^io saint more popular in Spain. In ahjoDst, 
^every church is a figure^r^a^pi^ureLoLhfii:^; and her name 
is frequent on the lips of_the_people. 

^ Ribera. 



A COUNSEL of perfection ! The expression has come 
to be used in an ironic sense, and Teresa would not, 
I think, fail to understand why. 
She never believed Perfection could be attained in 
this world : she speaks of it throughout as a matter of 
degrees, which of course is contrary to the meaning of 
the word. As she grew older, as she knew more of facts, 
and looked deeper into truth, she gave up in practice if 
not in theory many things which at first she had supposed 
essential, such as the absolute poverty of the convents. 
And I am sure she remembered, doubtless with painful 
pondering, when she was shutting up some bright young 
girl, for life, in one house, to one set of companions, to 
one round of unchanging duties and aspirations — I am 
sure she remembered that she had never herself really 
lived that life ; which to her imagination seemed so safe, 
so sanctified, so beautiful. 

For during the long years at the Encarnacion she 
had_beeDjree_to. do what she liked, go whither she pleased, 
speak with^whom she would; and she had used her 
liberty as much, perhaps more than her companions. 
After the foundation of San Jose in Avila, yes, she tried 
the enclosed life, and loved it ; for five years ; she, a 
woman of fifty who had had her day. There are many 


women of fifty glad enough to sit down and be quiet, 
jMaisiiig the Lord! After five years, she was out in the 
vvorld agakv; iu-a iiew^and holy capacity it is true, but 
ylill ()u^-ia ^c ; mixing with men, ruHng, phinning. 
Ilea ring what was going on, discussing affairs, noting 
men's cliaracters ; — all very interesting, everi exciting, 
to a clever woman, especially to a woman who is admired, 
-consulted, powerful. I am not blaming her in the very 
least ; from her own point of view she could have done 
nothing else ; from another point of view, all this made 
her human ; more sympathetic, greater, truer, than she 
could have been without it. All I say is, the enclosed 
life was one she had not lived ; the true miseria of which 
she had never personally felt. 

Conscious or unconscious of her limitations in this 
respect, Teresa, that wise woman, yet spoke on ; preaching 
her Counsel of Perfection. And a Counsel of Perfection 
is not to be dismissed as a Counsel of Folly. 

To aim at the highest is to shoot at least high ; and, 
for my part, I believe that so slow, so dull, so feeble are 
we of the mediocrity, that it is only the people of extremes 
who goad us into moving on at all. What Teresa bade her 
disciples, may have been beyond possibility even for her ; 
yet her disciples will attain to much. And her readers, 
her mere admirers, will be incited to at least something ; 
if only to a transient glow of enthusiasm lending them 
a momentary understanding of, a momentary kinship with 
the saints. 

Teresa was not a learned woman, though probably 
she knew more than she admitted to Maria de San Jose. 
Her mental parts were excellent. She had a fine memory ; 
also. a fine power of assimilation. For example, before 
she was sixteen she had pored over the books of chivalry, 
and to the last their machinery comes natural to her. 


Beginning the Moradas, she seems to see a knight setting 
forth in search of some mystic treasure, arriving at an 
enchanted castle, surrounded by dragons and concealed 

Imagination, she says, she had little. This is un- 
believable, if the word " imagination " is to be used in 
its ordinary sense. That penetrative imagination, which 
goes straight to the heart of a matter, was hers most 
remarkably ; hers, too, that synthetic if not creative 
faculty, which in a part can discern a whole, which can 
put two ideas together to form a third, which causes a 
perpetual and spontaneous bubbling up in the mind of 
new images, new thoughts, new plans. No one ungifted 
with imagination could have spoken against it as she 
has. She calls it a vagabond, a burning mirage, the 
sister of memory and melancholy, a moth of the night, 
harmless, but importunate and wearying. Ungrateful 
Teresa ! whether we admit her divine inspiration or not, 
it is clear that without rich dower of imagination she could 
never have written Las Moradas. 

Was Teresa poetical ? Her hymns do not prove it. 
They are poor, as she knew well enough. But often in 
her prose writings there is a hint of poetry. Open a page 
at random, and you will find some such passage as this — 
which is more than mere word-painting — 

" Now, speaking of this water which falls from heaven 
to fill and to feed that garden — see we not the rest it must 
bring to the gardener, and how, if it should never fail, there 
would he no winter there, but evermore the hour of spring, 
and always the flowers and the fruits, and the perpetual 
delight " 

Teresa/s___j::easomng" powers, though untrained,^ were 

--jiaturally good. She had a clear head. She seldom falls 

into the contradictions and absurdities which have 




vitiated the work of many mystics. Often she perceives 
"^ logfeaT difficulty wliich she knows she cannot solve ; 
tlicn she states it frankly without confusion or quibbling. 
This cannot be comprehended/' she says, "it is matter 
for faith, not forjthe understanding." 

Deep philosophy is beyond her. She has no theories 
of monism or dualism ; of origins or ultimates ; of the 
absolute or the conditioned ; of substance, relation, 
limit. Like Ignatius Loyola, however, she has an intuitive 
perception that time and space can be transcended. 
Her kingdom of heaven is a state, not a place ; it belongs 
to eternity, not to time. Personality is not a difficulty 
to her, nor the attributing to God of parts and passions. 
Her common sense tells her that the greater must include 
the less ; nor can she imagine a God poorer by the smallest 
attribute than one of His creatures. Her conceptions 
are frankly anthropomorphic ; but as she advanced in 
knowledge and spirituality she perceived that this 
anthropomorphism must be mere manner of perception. 
Behind the phenomena she predicated noumena ; in 
Intellectual Vision she believed that she came into touch 
with the Thing in Itself. 

Memory, imagination, logic, Teresa had in addition 
remarkable concentration of mind, and that persistence 
of the idea without which nothing great was ever accom- 
plished. Of course with her common sense, her clear 
head, and her ready sympathy, she was a good organizer. 
She understood figures and business generally ; was 
determined not to cheat, was unwilling to be cheated. 

In the course of the foundations one is tempted to 
think that her judgment was sometimes led astray 
by impetuosity ; but it belonged to her plan not to be 
deterred by difficulties which very probably she foresaw. 
She walked straight on in her determined path, preferring 


to surmount an obstacle rather than to await its 

Energy, resolution, rectitude, and charity_in_i.ts wides^t 
sen se, were t hje-foundations^ofJierxharactef ,._and impressed 
every one who came in contact with her. Conspicuous 
also was the excellence of her judgment, her unfaihng 
sense of humour, her depth of feeling. Which of these 
qualities was the secret of her personal influence ? or did 
it lie in them all combined, in the sum total of the whole 
woman ? or in some indescribable and inexplicable personal 
magnetism ? 

It is not easy to mention her faults, beyond a certain 
very human impatience, and a jealousy of being interfered 
with. Little faults are seldom noticeable after four 
centuries ; perhaps the people about her saw a few. Yet 
no — they were the very ones who declared she had none ! 

Persons who did not like her work said she was trouble- 
some, intriguing, imperious. Perhaps she was ; a general 
is apt to be imperious, nor is it easy to avoid troubling 
the unwilling, the half-hearted, the sleeping, and the slow. 
The Pope, Sega, and even Rossi were inclined to call her 
disobedient ; and sometimes the proofs she adduces of her 
obedience seem ingenious rather than convincing. But 
in her day no one can have been scandalized by that. 
It was an age of ingenuity ; nay, of intrigue and double- 
dealing. In the end, the very men who had complained 
said what a splendid woman she was, and how well she 
had done her work. In the last year or two there are 
signs of a little self-assertion, proneness to take offence, 
meddling. Don't let us dwell upon that ; she had had a 
stroke, she was doing too much, she was old. 

It has been objected that she was over enthusiastic 
about her men friends. That seems a foohsh criticism. 
Very likely the men were more interesting-thafl-the women,^ 


^nd met Jier on more equal terms. Stie takes them all 
\ery coolly and critically, except Gracian, to whom she 
.certainly adopted a maternal tone at once. She saw 
his faults as clearly as she saw those of Antonio de Jesus 
and Mariano, and never hesitated about pointing them 
out. She was confident that they all saw faults also in 

If asked what quality I personally find disagreeable 
in her, it is a certain exaggerated humility. Her harping 
on her general despicableness is a little tedious. But 
I believe she really meant what she said. She was com- 
paring herself with her ideal ; and hkc the rest of us was 
conscious of imperfections which she never got the better 
of. Humility is not at present a fashionable virtue ; and 
expression of self-contempt does not sound to us genuine, 
or if genuine we think it mean-spirited. That was not 
Teresa's view — nor David's. 

With the exception of Cervantes no Spanish author is 
so widely known as Teresa de Jesus. Her writings have 
been translated into every European language, including 
Latin, and are read not only by rehgious persons or those 
of her own Church. Enduring popularity impHes hterary 
merit, for time is a great destroyer of houses without 
foundations. It implies also that an author has that 
esprit de tout Ic monde which has been set down as a mark 
of genius. Teresa's subject does not at first suggest 
popularity. That she achieved it, shows there must be a 
great deal of latent mysticism in the world ready to respond 
when it is addressed in the right voice. Few mystical 
writers have obtained a response except from the few ; 
they are dry, recondite, enigmatic ; too philosophical for 
the common folk, not philosophical enough for the philo- 
sopher. They seem to hve and move in a world of their 
own, and what little they can tell of it, fails to attract. 


With Teresa, all this is changed. ,She writes^n simple, 
everyday language, spontanecoisly, can didly ^ with nq^ 
straining after effect, very little delib erate art, constant 
delightful effervescing humQur. She is entirely in earnest. 
Her subject is of importance to her ; her aim is to be clear. 
She uses the idioms and colloquialisms of her class ; she 
makes long digressions, then pulls herself up and apologizes 
as if she were talking to you. The personality of no 
author is so vivid to the reader. In addition she gives 
incidentally, by accident, as it were, a picture of the 
life of her country and her day in so far as she touched 
it. She exhibits the ideas, manners, domestic life, 
customs of society, religious practices. She tells the 
story of many interesting persons ; and by her sense 
of character and her dramatic touch makes us intimately 
acquainted with others to whom she devotes but a few 
lines. Above all she writes with a glow that inflames 
the reader ; her conviction impresses him, her rapture 
carries him away. Even the most sceptical catches in 
her pages a glimpse of that third heaven which he knows 
alas ! he shall never enter. 

Teresa was in no respect a person of hesitation and 
scruple. She had the self-confidence of genius. What 
she wrote, she wrote ; without alterations, corrections, 
revisions. Her style is amateurish ; ignorant of rules, 
by no means free from defects, not only of composition, 
but of grammar and spelling. Clearness is her aim. 
She will go over the same point, trying one image or ana- 
logy after another so as to make her idea comprehensible. 
She does not always succeed ; there are many passages in 
which we feel her thought has been clearer than the words 
in which she has expressed it. Like most amateurs, she is 
diffuse ; has not acquired that most difficult knowledge — 
what to leave out. Impatient of reading over (she tells 


Lorenzo life is not long enough for that) she falls into 
repetitions, sometimes into anti-climax. But the science 
of corrocting docs not come by nature, and it is perhaps 
fortunate Teresa did not attempt it. The second version 
she made of the Camino dc Pcrfcccion is not the better 
of the two. Some persons thought she wrote too simply 
and colloquially. Gracian (truly foes are often of the 
household) actually set to work to improve her sentences, 
chastening and as he thought dignifying them. Luis 
de Leon — himself a master — removed the emendations, 
restored the colloquialisms and the blunders ; with them 
the simplicity and the strength which made the writings 
so much greater than Teresa knew. 

She had her share in moulding the noble Castillian 
language to literary use ; proud work for a woman ! 
She was among those who steadily turned the Castillian 
style aside from the not remote temptation to artificiality 
and bombast. She helped to set it towards realism and 
as much conciseness as the naturally redundant character 
of the language would allow. Grandiloquence was never 
her fault. Her similes, generally apt and delightful no 
less than frequent, are most of them quite homely, 
appealing to the everyday experiences of ordinary 

In her fondness for concrete images, Teresa is no 
doubt sometimes betrayed by the words she uses. The 
mystics, Teresa among them, have erred by pressing 
analogies too far, by mistaking the metaphorical for the 
iteral. Often, however, they have been falsely accused 
Df this error ; the confusion has been in the mind of the 
:ritic who blames the visionary for materializing the 
spiritual, while really his fault, if fault there be, has lain 
m spiritualizing the material. 

" When Christ said He was the door," sneers the critic, 


" do \70u suppose He meant He was the material door of 
the room ? He spoke metaphorically." 

" No," replies the mystic, " He spoke literally. He 
said nothing about the wooden door of a room. He said 
He was a means of entrance ; which is the literal mear 
of the word door." 

This mode of interpretation has its risks ; Teresa was 
generally successful in avoiding them. 

Teresa was a wonderful woman, and she did a wonderful 
work .^ She broke through the fetters of her sex and won 
t^ie admiration of great men. In any list of distinguished 
women slie must find a place. ^ 

But it is difficult to dispute the fact that women, even 
the greatest of them, fail in invention. With all her 
gifts Teresa could not rise above restoration of a religious 
Order to its original purity, a work parallel to restorations 
accomplished by others, already perhaps a little out of 
date. She was surpassed by Ignatius Loyola, whose 
masculine genius perceived that the old Orders had 
already done their best work ; and that, if headway 
was to be made against Protestantism, it must be by the 
foundation of something new. The work of Saint Ignatius 
expanded, became formidable, and is so to this day. 
Teresa's influence has been chiefly on individuals. 

Yet she had her share of constructive power. Hei 
Constitutions may not have been perfect ; for some reasor 
they did not suit even her immediate successors and were 
quickly altered. But her principles are unassailable 
Enshrined in writings of', exceptional beauty, they arres^ 
the reader and bid him stop and think. If he is a 'rds 
and a visionary he will ask himself if he ought no tie is 
some work. If— as is more probable— he is adge— 
and a positivist, he will question if* after all e tells 


lot a world behind the veil, neglect of which is his folly 
md liis sin. 

More probable ; ^or in our day. the Active life impinges 
3n the life inner and spiritual ; too many of us, we confuse 
contemplation with 'idleness ; too many of us, we think 
the kingdom of ..heaven is in philanthropy and acts of 
parliament. Teresa has a message even for us who do 
not belong to her Church or share her faith. Even to us 
she comes with her hours of Silence, her ideal of seclusion 
and peace, her prayer of Quiet, her ecstasy of Love. The 
kingdom of heaven, she tells us, is not found by observa- 
tion, not by running to.and fro, and increase of knowledge.^'C^ 
It comes by " a wise passiyeness " ; by strengthening of the 
spirit ; by what she called and believed. Union \vith God. 

Her primary message, however, was to her own time, the 
ideals and temptations of which were different from those 
of our twentieth century. Then it was an axiom with 
thinking minds that the Contemplative life was the highest. 
No one has stated this more clearly than Dante by his 
figure of Leah and Rachel in the earthly Paradise. Leah 
is occupied with good works — all concerned with matters 
temporal and fading ; Rachel sits gazing into the eyes of 
the Lord, and thus transforms herself into the heavenly 
hkeness. Like Dante, Teresa never from first to last 
falters in the conviction that Rachel is she who has chosen 
the good part ; -that the contemplative ideal is the right 
one, that Jesus referred to it when He sa!d^^JLm_tl^e-W^y,' 
the Truth, the Life." ' ' 

The difficulty was. How should this ideal of perfect 
Contemplation be achieved ? Ii;! the abstract the course 
ritic ^1®^*^"st. Purification ; secondly. Illumination; 
;piritui'' Union. Practically Teresa Ibllowed the usual, 
n spiri^odo-^ method ; virginity, the cloister, sacraments, 

" Wh"^*- ^1^^ ceremonial, penance and self-abnegation. 


trances and visions. __3Iia.iiev.erxpnsciously departed from 
the routine or ceased to commend it to others. 

•v3ut as her life— her spiritual life — wejitPQ, it became in- 
creasingly clear to her that these things — Dbviously mean j; to 
an end — may, if regarded as over imp ortant, prove n o help 
But, a hindrance ; may become idols obscuring the Lord ; 
may instead of leading into the kingdom of heaven, close its 
^door, leaving the soul outside in the blacknes.s. of darkness. 

Made wise by her own experience, she even hesitated 
to prescribe too much of these spiritual exercises for 
beginners. We have seen what comparatively light 
burdens she laid on her novices, how humorously she 
restrained the ardours of her brother, how often she dis- 
approved the extravagances of the friars. At the end of 
her life it is clear — not that she had lost faith in the right 
use of the means of grace, but that she perceived them 
somehow mistaken unless they resulted in developing 
and increasing communion with God. 

And it is also clear that from the time when she — (to 

use her own language) — entered into the Seventh Mansion, 

she recognised that the ideal__of perfect Contemplation 

includes a certain amount of definite Activily.*__ It is not a 

mere negative state ; it is not a condition merely of. devou.t^ 

enjoyment. That may be the condition in heaven ; qn 

earth there is work to be done ; and to be used by God 

must be the wish and the reward of all who would attain to 

the perfect state. The description of the Seventh Mansion 

ns, that there the soul sits in permanent,_jininteD:upted Con-, 

'^--4^i5plMionj_y7et_tlie " person acts^^ converses, attends to 

^exterior work in God's servic-€^ji£ij^r_2osisig--tlie sweet 

sense of His presence, nor that quietwhi£]i_is .enjoyed 

intimately in Him." ~" " "^ 

yf^ . Th us to the Contemplative, Teresa speaks of Activity. • 

■\^nd t o the Activ e she extols Contemplati( aT She had 


proved th^^saiictity of both, and so has sympathy and a 
mcssagejouis^all . 

ISlore than the other saints it would seem tliat Teresa 
strikes the modern note. It is not so much that she is 
in advancg of hnr ago^ns that shn is gii.tClLyj^'.tK-'in strong ~ 
a sense of reaUty, that she does not lose herself in dreams, 
but concentrates her attention on those qualities and 
things which are permanent and universal ; eternal 
verities, ours np less than hers, which she had discerned 
under much superincumbent, — sometimes grotesque, now 
perhaps obsolete, — mental furniture. 

In great matters she holds fast by essentials ; in smaller, 
her homely wisdom, her strong sense of humour, keep her 
always with her foot on solid earth, even when her head is 
above the clouds. Shams, absurdities, pretensions, fall to 
nothing in her presence ; and one secret of her power 
was that — always with a smile — she could present her 
cause in simple language, shorn of cant, unvarnished and 

Had she lived now and in England — but that is an 
idle speculation ! She was not I say in advance of her time. 
She was only a woman of wide sympathies and of mother- 
wit, with a keen sense of values and of truth. 

But I don't think that is what she would have had me 
say of her. She would wish me to say no more than this : 
she was a woman who loved God ; and her love was 
accepted and she heard His voice. 



Ahumada, Beatriz de, mother of 
Teresa, descent, 3 ; tastes, 6 ; 
death, 6 

Juana do, sister of Teresa, 

marries J. dc Ovalle, 5 ; corre- 
spondence with Teresa, 293 

Pcilro dc, brother of Teresa, 

returns from Peru, 238 ; Teresa 
intercedes for him, 291 ; guar- 
dian Lorenzo's children, 314 

y Ovalle, Beatriz de, Teresa's 

niece, compromised, 294 ; letter 
to her, 295 ; prioress at Toledo, 
92, 295 

Alba de Tormes, monuments, 25, 
160 ; Teresa's heart, 73 ; de- 
scription, 159; Convent of Our 
Lady of the Annunciation, 

Alcala, convent founded by Maria 
de Jesus, 1 26 ; college for Dis 
calced Carmelites, 151; Chapter of 
whole Order, 255 

Almodovar, Chapter of Discalced 
Carmelites, 250 ; presumptuous 
second Chapter, 253 

Alva, Duke of, cruelty, 30 ; student 
of Teresa's writings, 160 

Duchess of, Teresa's visit, 

213 ; summons Teresa, 318 ; 
visits her death-bed, 319 

Alvarez, Baltasar, Jesuit, consulted 
by Teresa, 64 ; unfriendly to 
new convent, 85 ; rector Jesuit 
College at Medina, 118 

Ana de San Bartolome, Teresa's 

companion, 249 
Antisco, Juana de, Gracian's 
mother, her visit, 308 

Isabelita de, Gracian's sister, 

her play, 23 ; appearance, 298 
Augustinians, Convent of Our 
Lady of Grace, 9 ; Luis de Leon, 
33, 186; Tomas de Villanueva, 
33 ; De Chaide, 181 ; object to 
convent at Medina, 120 ; De 
Chaide, 181 


Austria, Don John of, letter to 
Catalina de Cardona, 265 ; 
Teresa commends him to God, 

Juana de, sister of Philip 

II, founds convent of Discalced 
Franciscans, 127 ; description of 
Teresa, 128 

Avila, description, i, 23, 24; En- 
carnacion, 46, 57 ; San Josef, 
97 ; objects to new convent, 86, 

Baltazar de Jesus, preacher, prior 

at Pastrana, 151 ; declines to go 

to Andalucia, 220 ; supports 

Gracian, 242 
Banez, Domingo, helps Teresa at 

Avila, 108 ; consulted, 128 
Beltran, Luis, Saint, approves 

Teresa, 86 
Borja (or Borgia), Francisco de. 

Saint, Duke of Gandia, n ; 

Jesuit, 38 ; at San Yuste, 38 ; 

approves Teresa, 66 
Burgos, proposed foundation, 273 ; 

description, 275 

Camino de Perfeccion, written at 

Avila, 113 ; manuscripts, 130, 

195 ; analysis, 195 
Caravaca, foundation of convent, 

Cardona, Catalina de, her history, 

Carmelites, history of Order, 47 ; 

division of Order, 255 
Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, 

accused of heresy, 40 ; ad- 
ministration of his diocese while 

he in prison, 139 
Cepeda, Alonzo Sanchez de, Teresa's 

father, descent, 3 ; character, 6 ; 

opposes Teresa's vocation, 1 1 ; 

withdraws opposition, 49 ; 

practises Mental Prayer, 57 ; 

death, 58 



Cepeda.Lorenzo de, Teresa's brother, 

sets her on fire, 5 1 ; returns from 

Peru, 238 ; helps Teresa, 240 ; 

puts himself under her direction, 

286 ; La Serna, 288 ; death, 280 
Francisco de, son of Lorenzo, 

his mother-in-law, 280 
Antonio de, brother of 

Teresa, goes to Dominican 

monastery, 12 
Maria de, Teresa's stepsister, 

marries Martin de Guzman, 5 ; 

receives Teresa on visit, 10 ; 

threatened with lawsuit by J. 

de Ovalle, 285 
Jeronimo de, Teresa's 

brother, death, 238 
Rodrigo de, Teresa's brother, 

runs away, 4 
Pedro Sanchez de, Teresa's 

uncle, receives her at Hortigosa, 

10; gives her Osuna's /4&ece^an'o, 

Cerda, Luisa de la, sends for Teresa, 

89 ; convent at Malagon, 129 
Cervantes, Rinconete y Cortadillo, 

22, 233 ; His cura del pueblo, 

Chaide, Pedro Malon de, Mystic, 

wrote on Mary Magdalene, 181 
Charles v. King of Spain, 14 ; 

Emperor, 15 ; sack of Rome, 16 ; 

abdication, 17 ; patron of art, 


Chroniclers, Guevara, 20 ; Ocampo, 
21 ; Luis de Avila, 21 

Covarrubias, Diego de. Bishop of 
Segovia, 168 ; President, Royal 
Council, 251 ; death, 252 

Cueva, Juan de la, prior of San 
Genesio, King's Commissioner at 
Chapter of Alcala, 255 ; com- 
plains of Gracian, 315 

Dante, Divina Commedia, trans- 
lated, 20 ; comparison with 
Teresa, 71 and loi 

Daza, Caspar de, consulted by 
Teresa, 64 ; opens San Josef at 
Avila, 97 ; to advise Lorenzo, 287 

Dominicans, Varron, 59 ; Ibafiez, 
86 ; Banez, 108 ; Varjas, 161 ; 
Fernandez, 161 ; sponsors for 
Inquisition, 186 

Doria, Nicolas (de Jesus Maria), 
consults Mariano, 148 ; Almo- 
dovar, 250 ; rivalry with Gracian, 
256; Definitor, 256; Teresa's 

opinion of him, 312 ; complains 

of Gracian, 315 
Drama, miracle plays, 22 ; Lope de 

Rueda, 22 ; Lope de Vega, 18, 

76, 8 
Duruelo, foundation of Monastery, 

133; moved to Mancera and to 

Avila, 1 35; asceticismof friars, 219 

Espinel, Vicente, author of Marcos 
de Obregan, 35 ; his life, 35 

Estella, Diego de. Mystic, preacher 
and theologian, 182 

Fernandez, Pedro, Apostolical 
Visitor, 161 ; approves Teresa, 
161 ; approves foundations, 168, 
174; Pastrana, 220; permits 
exit of friars from Castille, 221 ; 
on commission for settlement of 
Carmelite war, 254 

Foundations, Book of, first page 

of, 135 

Franciscans, reforms, 33 ; Descal- 
zas Reales, 127 

Friars (Discalced Carmelites), 
Antonio de Jesus, 133; Juan de 
la Cruz, 133 ; Mariano de San J 
Benito, 151; Juan de la Miseria, I 
246 ; Juan del Nino Jesus, 36 ; 
Juan de Jesus Roca, 253 ; 
Nicolas Doria de Jesus Maria, 
250 ; Gabriel de la Asuncion, 256 ; 
Jeronimo Gracian de la Madre 
de Dios, 221 ; Baltazar de Jesus, 
151 ; German de San Matias, 261 

Gaitan, Antonio, Teresa's guide, 
174, 227 

German de San Matias, Director at 
Encarnacion, 166 ; kidnapped 
and imprisoned, 261 

Godinez, Catalina de, her life, 172 ; 
dream, 173 ; goes to Madrid, 174 ; 
summons Teresa to found at 
Veas, 174 

Maria de, sister of Catalina, 

both Discalced Carmelites, 175 

Gracian, Jeronimo de la Madre de 
Dios, birth and education, 221 ; 
joins Discalced Carmelites, 221 ; 
Granada, appointed Vicar of 
Apostolical Visitor, 222 ; mon- 
astery of Los Remedios at Triana, 
222 ; appeals to Covarrubias and 
Quiroga, 223 ; meets Teresa at 
Veas, 224 ; their sympathy, 225 ; 
orders her to Seville, 226; goes 



to Madrid, piven increased 
jurisdiction, 227 ; visits Obser- 
vants at Seville, 242 ; finds In- 
<|uisition oflicers at convent, 245 ; 
wishes to resign. 251 ; scandals, 

252 ; deposed by Sega, 252 ; 
reinstated by Royal Council, 253 ; 
imprisoned, 253 ; elected Pro- 
vincial of the Discalced. 256 ; 
goes with Teresa to Burgos, 
274; leaves for Valladolid, 276; 
last meeting with Teresa, 277 ; 
his subsequent career, 258 ; 
Teresa complains of him, 279; 
collects Teresa's letters, 284 ; 
Teresa's correspondence with 
him, 305 ; expostulations, 306 ; 
high opinion of him, 307 ; his 
donkey, 306, 313 ; second Chapter 
of Almodovar not approved, 
311 ; last letter to him, 315 ; 
takes Teresa's corpse to Avila, 
321 ; tries to improve her writ- 
ings, 331 

Granada, Luis de, deceived by 
Lisbon nun, 6^ ; belongs to 
Order of Preachers, 184 ; his 
Guia de Pecadores, 185 

Heredia, Antonio de (de Jesus), 
prior of Santa Ana at Medina, 
118; escorts Teresa, 120; joins 
Teresa's reform, 125 ; first 
friar at Duruelo, 133; supports 
Gracian at Seville, 242 ; Almo- 
dovar, 250 ; irregularly elected 
Provincial, 253 ; imprisoned, 

253 ; appointed Definitor, 256 ; 
goes with Teresa to Villanueva, 
264 ; coolness with Teresa, 279 ; 
with her at her death, being then 
Vice-Provincial in Castille, 279 

Honour, obligations of the pun 

d'onor, 8, 294 
Hormaneto, • Papal Nuncio, 

friendly to reform, 223 ; visited 

by friars on their way to Mora- 

leja, 250 ; death, 251 
Hye Hoys, author of I'Espagne 

Ther^sienne, 73 ; opinion of 

portrait, 247 

Ibafiez, Pedro, Dominican, approves 
new convent, 86 ; commands 
the Book of her Life, 87 

Inquisition, jurisdiction, 29 ; pro- 
cedure, 38 ; attacks Carranza, 
40; attacks Teresa, 153, 245, 

252 ; and B, Alvarez, 64 ; and 
Luis de Granada, 184 ; and 
Luis de Leon, 187 

Jesuits, early Jesuits, 37 ; Bal- 
tasar Alvarez, 64 ; Caspar de 
Salazar, 87 ; dispute with Teresa, 

Juan de Avila, Apostle of Anda- 
lucia, 35 ; preacher, author of 
Audi filia et vide, 183 

Juan de Dios, founder of Hos- 
pitularios at Granada, 35 

Juan de la Miseria, friendship with 
Mariano, 146 ; joins Teresa's 
reform, 149 ; paints Teresa's 
portrait, 246 

Juana la Loca, Queen of Spain, 14 ; 
death, 17 ; Latin scholar, 20 

Julian de Avila, chaplain at San 
Josef in Avila, 97 ; takes house 
at Medina, 119; goes with 
Teresa to Duruelo, 132 ; and to 
Veas, 174 ; and to Andalucia, 
227 ; delay at Cordova, 228 ; 
too lax at St. Josef of Avila, 270 ; 
Lorenzo to consult him, 290 

Laiz, Teresa de, wife of Francisco 
Velasquez, her dream, 159 ; 
founds convent at Alba, 160 

Leon, Diego de. Bishop of Col- 
umbria, induces hermits of 
La Peiiuela to join Discalced 
Carmelites, 221 

Luis de, Augustinian, ^li ', 

Mystic and poet, 186 ; liberal 
views, 187 ; approves Teresa, 
187 ; author of La Perfecta 
Casada, etc., 188 ; edits Sala- 
manca edition of Teresa's 
wTi tings, 195, 331 

Le^^tations of Teresa and others, 

Limpieza, statutes, 39 

Lobera, Ana de Jesus, history, 271 ; 
foundation at Granada, 272 ; 
reproved by Teresa, 280 ; her 
vision of Teresa, 320 

Loyola, Ignatius, Saint, founds 
Society of Jesus, 37 

Maria de Jesus, Carmelite, wishes 
to found convent of Primitive 
Rule and comes to Toledo to 
visit Teresa, 94 ; sends for 
Teresa to reorganise convent at 
Alcala, 126 ; death, 127 

Mariano Ambrosio (de San Benito), 



romantic career, hermit at El 
Tardon, 147 ; imprisoned at 
Seville, 148 ; meets Teresa, 149 ; 
joins Discalced Carmelites at 
Pastrana, 150 ; to Granada, 222 ; 
supports Gracian, 243 ; secretary 
to Provincial of Discalced Car- 
melites, 256 ; letter to liim, 282 

Medina del Campo, description, 
118; foundation of convent, 
122 ; dispute about prioress, 61 ; 
Teresa's last visit, 281 

Mendoza, Alvaro de. Bishop of 
Avila, approves of new convent, 
95 ; friendship with Teresa, 96 ; 
suggests friars, 117; Veja- 
men, 259 ; translated to Pal- 
encia, 260 ; writes to Arch- 
bishop of Burgos, 277 

Bernardino de, brother of 

Bishop, gives Teresa a house, 126 

Maria de, sister of Bishop, 

travels with Teresa, 126 ; gives 
new house for convent at Valla- 
dolid, 130 

Conde de Tendilla, Captain 

city of Granada, helps reform, 

Bishop of Salamanca, 154 

y Castilla, Orofrisia de, 

marries Francisco de Cepeda, 292 

y de la Cerda, Princess of 

EboU, history, 144 ; summons 
Teresa, 143 ; convent at Pas- 
trana, 150; upsets convent, 
152 ; betrays Teresa's con- 
fidence, 153 

Mascareiias, Leonor de, governess 
to PhiUp II, receives Teresa on 
visit, 127 ; introduces Mariano, 

Moradas, manuscript at Seville, 
205 ; analysis, 206 

Moraleja, San Pablo de la. Chapter 
decides against reform, 250 

Moriscoes, alleged sacrilege of, 29 

Novels, Picaresque, 22, 35 

Nuns, Discalced Carmelites, 
Antonia del Espiritu Santo, 
Maria de la Cruz, Ursula de los 
Santos, Maria de San Jose, 97 ; 
Maria Bautista, Maria de San 
Jeronimo, 109 ; Inez de Jesus, 
Ana de la Encarnacion, 119; 
Elena de Jesus, Geronima de la 
Encarnacion, 123 ; Maria de 
San Jose, 129 ; Casilda de la 

Concepcion, 131 ; Ana de la 
Madre de Dios, 142 ; Isabel de 
Santo Domingo, 153 ; Maria del 
Sacramento, i5S ; Isabel de 
Jesus, 158 ; Catalina and Maria 
de Jesus, 175 ; Teresa de Jesus 
(Teresita), 239 ; Ana de San 
Bartolome, 253 ; Ana de Jesus, 
271 ; Catalina de Tolosa and 
two daughters, 277 ; Tomasina 
Bautista, 279 ; Beatrix de Jesus 
(niece), 294 ; Beatriz de la 
Madre de Dios, 297 ; Isabel de 
Jesus Maria, 298 ; Beatriz de 
Jesus (cousin), 303 ; Brianda de 
San Josef, 303 ; Catalina de la 
Concepcion, 319 

Ocampo, Maria de (Bautista), sug- 
gests new convent, 84 ; takes 
the veil, 109; fountain, 112; 
to Medina, 119; prioress Valla- 
dolid, 131 ; family dispute, 281 

Ovalle, Juan de, brother-in-law 
of Teresa, marriage, 5 ; to 
Avila to help foundation of new 
convent, 87, 95 ; writes to 
Teresa for F. Velasquez, 159; 
disposition, 285, 287 

Painters, Titian, Tintoretto, 25 ; 
Moro, Coello, El Greco, 26 

Palencia, Alvaro de Mendoza 
Bishop, 268 ; description, 269 ; 
foundation of convent, 269 

Pantoja, prior at the Cartuja at 
Seville, 235 ; helps Teresa, 235 

Pastrana, monastery given by 
Ruy Gomez, 149 ; foundation 
for friars and for nuns, 1 50 ; 
dissolution of convent for nuns, 
153 ; asceticism, 219 

Peter of Alcantara, Saint, reforms 
Franciscans, 33 ; approves Teresa, 
66, 85 ; mediates between her 
and Bishop, 95 ; death, 96 ; ap- 
pears in vision, 108 

Philip II, character, 18 ; Escorial, 
24 ; favours CarmeUte reform, 
223 ; quashes decrees of Chapter 
at Moraleja, 251 ; Teresa's letters 
to him, 316 

Poets, Boscan, Garcilaso, 20 ; 
Luis de Leon, Juan de la Cruz, 20 

Protestantism, spread of, 41 ; at 
Valladolid, 42 ; at Seville, 43 

Quiroga, Grand Inquisitor, honours 



Carranza, 40 ; Archbisliop elect 
of Toledo, 223 ; approves Tt-rcsa's 
ViUa, ji>o 
Quirof<a. Klcna de (dc Josus), repairs 
convent at Medina, gives palace, 


Ramirez, Martin, loaves money for 
convent at Toledo, 139 

Alonzo, his brother, executor, 

139; negotiations broken oft, 
139 ; resumed. 141 

Ribera, Francisco de, Teresa's 
biographer, reports her visions 
during trance. 51 ; sees her at 
Soria, 269 ; sees her corpse at 
Alba, 321 

Roca, Juan de Jesus, prior at 
Mancera, influences Sega, 253 ; 
tiresome rules, 309 

Rojas y Sandoval, Cristobal de, 
Archbishop of Seville, gives 
Los Remedios to Gracian, 222 ; 
unfavourable to convent, 236 ; 
changes his opinion, 2^y 

Rossi, Giovanni Batista (Rubeo), 
General of Carmelite Order, 
comes to Spain, 114; to Avila, 
116; gives Teresa patents for 
founding convents in Castille, 
116; favours Observants, 241; 
Teresa writes to him, 242 

Salamanca, Cathedral, 24 ; de- 
scription, 154; foundation of 
convent, 154; Teresa's second 
visit, 156; convent to-day, 157 

aalazar, Angel de. Provincial of 
Carmelites, hesitation about new 
convent, 86 ; approves, 107 ; dis- 
pute with Teresa, 161 ; instals 
her as prioress at Encarnacion, 
163 ; Decree of Reclusion, 242 ; 
Chapter at Moraleja, 250 ; Vicar- 
General, 254 ; Teresa's remarks. 

Caspar de, Jesuit, at San Gil 

in Avila, 87 ; introduces Maria 
de Jesus and Teresa, 94 ; wishes 
to join Carmelites, 262 

Maria de (de San Jose), 

companion to Luisa de la Cerda, 
93 ; takes veil, 129 ; prioress 
at Seville, 241 ; deposed, 251 ; 
reinstated, 252 ; collects Teresa's 
letters, 284 ; letters to her, 295 ; 
misunderstanding with Teresa, 
296 ; learning, 300 ; cooking 
stove, 301 ; reproved, 302 

Salcedo, Francisco de, El Caballero 
Santo, consulted by Teresa, 64 ; 
gives income to San Josef. 105 • 
Vcjamcn, 259 ; Lorenzo to con- 
sult him, 287 

Sega, Papal Nuncio, 251 ; pro- 
nounces against Teresa, 252 ; 
visit from Roca, 253 ; accepts 
Commission, 254 

Segovia, aqueduct, 23 ; descrip- 
tion, 168 ; foundation of convent, 
169; present day, 171; vision, 

Seville, Giralda, 24 ; refuses arch- 
bishop, 34 ; auto de fe, 43 ; 
description, 230 ; Teresa's ar- 
rival. 235 ; opening of convent, 
237 ; Los Remedios, 222 ; 
Gracian at Observant Monastery, 
242 ; portrait, 247 ; scandals. 

Silva, Ruy Gomez, comes to Spain, 
144 ; marries Ana de Mendoza, 
gives monastery of Pastrana, 1 50 ; 
death, 152 

Slaves, foreigners, 2 ; Alonzo's 
kindness to, 6 ; convent slave 

Soria, foundation of convent, 269 ; 
Teresa sees Ribera and Yepes. 269 

Tavera, Cardinal, monument. 25 ; 
hospital, 34 ; President Royal 
Council, Primate, 34 

Teresa de Jesus, birth, 5 ; frivolity, 
7 ; Augustinian convent, 9 ; 
novice at Encarnacion, 12 ; 
profession, 49 ; illness, 50 ; 
devotion to San Josef, 52 ; be- 
comes a contemplative, 53 ; con- 
verts priest, 55 ; declension, 56 ; 
vision of Christ, 57 ; death of 
father, 58 ; revival of spiritual- 
ity, 59 ." vision of wounded 
Christ, 60; Vita Niiova, 61; 
experiences, 63 ; fear of self- 
deception, 63 ; approved by 
Francis Borja and Peter of 
Alcantara, 66 ; visions, 67 • 
ecstasies, 68 ; voices, 68 ; in- 
tellectual vision, 69 ; imaginary 
vision, 70; hell, 71 ; her cross, 
71 ; transverberation, 72 

Trinity, 74 ; ubiquity, yy ; idea 
of new convent for Primitive 
Rule, 84 ; approved by Luis 
Beltran and others, 85 ; leaves 
Encarnacion, 87 ; anecdotes, 88 ; 



Toledo, 89 ; Maria de Jesus, 94 ; 
returns to Avila, 95 ; opening of 
San Josef, 97 ; adopts name of 
Teresa de Jesus, 97 ; principles, 
98 ; poverty, 104 ; approved by 
Provincial, 107 ; opposition in 
Avila, 108 ; writes Camino, 113 ; 
Rubeo, 116; her patents, 116; 
to foundation at Medina, 119; 
joined by Heredia and Juan de 
la Cruz, 125; given a house, 
Valladolid, 1 26 ; visits Maria de 
Jesus at Alcala, 126 ; Madrid, 
127 ; Toledo, 128 ; foundation 
at Malagon, 129 ; at Valladolid, 
130; Duruelo, 133; manner of 
journeys, 138 ; foundation at 
Toledo, 139; anecdotes, 142; 
summoned by Princess of EboU, 
143 ; Mariano, 149 ; founda- 
tions at Pastrana, 150; con- 
vent at Pastrana dissolved, 
153; foundation at Salamanca, 
154; second visit, 156; founda- 
tion at Alba, 160 ; visit of 
Fernandez, 161 ; Prioress at 
Medina, 162 ; at Encarnacion, 
163 ; foundation at Segovia, 
169; at Veas, 174; mystical 
theology, 194 ; Gracian, 224 ; 
her impressions of him, 225 ; 
ordered to Seville, 226 ; anec- 
dotes of journey, 227 ; Cordova, 
228 ; arrival at Seville, 235 ; dis- 
pleasure of Archbishop, 236 ; 
opening of convent in Pajeria, 
237 ; arrival of Lorenzo, 238 ; 
Decree of Reclusion, 242 ; 
slanders, 244 ; approved by 
Inquisition, 245 ; to Toledo, 
249 ; opposed by Sega, 252 ; 
weeps, 253 ; ending of war with 
Observants, 254 ; advises as to 
Rules, 255, 257; her writings, 
258 ; putsSan Josef of Avila under 
the Order, 260 ; Tostado will 
not have her at Encarnacion, 
261 ; quarrel with Jesuits, 262 ; 
foundation at Villanueva, 264 ; 
paralytic stroke, 267 ; founda- 
tion at Palencia, 269 ; at Soria, 
269 ; meets biographers, 269 ; 
Segovia and Avila, 270 ; relaxa- 
tion at San Josef, 270 ; journey 
to Burgos, 274; foundation at 
Burgos, 277 ; parting from 
Gracian, 277 ; death of Lorenzo, 
280 ; family dispute, 280 ; rude- 

ness of Maria Bautista and 
prioress at Medina, 281 ; last 
journey, 318 ; death at Alba, 
319; burial, 321; various ex- 
humations, 321 ; beatification 
and canonization, 322 

Teresita, niece of Teresa, arrives 
from Peru, 238 ; profession at 
Avila, 239 ; her Agnus Dei, 287 

Toledo, old churches, 24 ; monu- 
ment to Tavera, 25 ; Tavera, 
Archbishop, 34 ; Carranza, Arch- 
bishop, 40 ; chronicles, 89 ; 
house of Doiia Luisa, 92 ; founda- 
tion of convent, 141 ; Teresa 
exiled there, 249 

Tolosa, CataUna de, assists at 
Burgos, 273 

Tostado, Jeronimo, Portuguese, ap- 
pointed Vicar-General, 241 ; op- 
posed by king and retires to 
Portugal, 251 ; lawsuit defeated, 
252; will not have Teresa at 
Encarnacion, 260 

UUoa, Guiomar de, introduces 
Teresa to Peter of Alcantara, 66 ; 
approves and helps new convent, 
84 ; receives brief authorizing it, 
95 ; touching allusion, 289 

Valladolid, auto de fe, 42 ; founda- 
tion of convent, 1 30 ; description 
tion, 130; portrait of Teresa, 
130; Maria Bautista prioress 
131; Casilda de Padilla, 131; rude- 
ness of lawyer and Maria Bautista 
Vanegas, Alejo, Mystic, author o 
Agony of the Passage of Death 
Vargas, Francisco de. Dominical 
Apostolical Visitor, 161 ; laxit] 
of monasteries in Andalucia, 220 
appoints Gracian his Vicai 
Vejatnen, Teresa the judge, 259 
Vela, Cristobal, Archbishop 
Burgos, his hesitations, 273 
friendliness, 278 
Velasquez, Francisco, Duke c 
Alba's Contactor, 158; marrie 
Teresa de Laiz, 159; summon 
Teresa for foundation of coi 
vent at Alba, 159 

Bishop of Osma, asks £c 

convent at Soria, 269 ; Teresa 
confessor, 307 




Villalobos, wrote Las Ins Granda 

^imencs, Cardinal, his reforms, 3^ 

^epcs, Diego de. Rislioj) of Tara- 
zona, Teresa's biographer, sees 
her for the last time, 269 

— Juan (do la Cruz). Saint, 
joins Teresa's reform, 125 ; to 

Duruelo, 133; Novice Master 
at I'astrana, 151; Rector of 
College at Alcal.-i. 151 ; Director 
at Encarnacion, 1O6 ; bio- 
graphy, 189; writings, 190- 
ecstasy, 192 ; Definitor, 256 • 
kidnapjicd and imprisoned by 
Observants, 261 ; Teresa writes 
to the king about him, 261 ; 
prior at Granada, 271 

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ais«in}r(a). the town travkllkr. 


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GILES IN(;iI,l!Y. 





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•Q' (A. T. Quiller Couch). THE 


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Sidgwick CMrs. Alfred). THE KINS- 

Surtees (R. S.). HANDLEY CROSS. 

Walford (Mrs. L. B.). MR. SMITH. 




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Watson (H. B. Marriott). THE ADVEN- 

Weekes (A. B.). PRISONERS OF WAR. 

Wells (H. G.). THE SEA LADY. 

White (Percy). A PASSIONATE 


JAM i 7/975 




BX Colvill, Helen Hester 
^700 Saint Teresa of Spain